Change at WHS
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At Williamstown High School, students come from all different backgrounds. Some have different hobbies than others. Some take different classes than other. All have different experiences.
Why make WHS a horrible place for our youth?
As of the 2017-2018 school year, there has been a change in principals throughout the district. Our former principal, Dr. Delconte, was transferred out of WHS. Students have not received an explanation and returned from the 2016-2017 school year to find a brand new principal after receiving a letter in the mail from the new principal with new rules. Other adults have since complained about this change.
The backlash from students are not from one group or 'clique' of students, but this is the rare occasion where most students, no matter background or classes or hobbies, are able to agree that they are not happy with this change of leadership.
Below are some of the rule changes made from the new principal who had taught at another public school in Monroe Township that students are unhappy with along with reasoning.
Dress Code: 'No open toe shoes. No ripped jeans.' For 7 hours a day, students are running around the school. Some go from one end all the way to the other end and up the stairs in 4 minutes. During the summer time, this is hard due to the heat. Students are more uncomfortable than they already are.
As for the teachers, they're told they are not allowed to wear jeans.
This rule is to enforce the school environment to be more "professional". For students, school is already professional enough. Not to mention these are people ranging from ages 14 to 18 who are attending the school. This time of their lives is stressful enough without having to worry about if they'll be comfortable in their clothing for the next 7 hours of their life for 180 days.
The same goes for teachers. An average teacher has longer school days than students. Some are parents, some attend classes outside of WHS, and some might have another job. These are the people teaching the next generation. Are students going to learn much from seeing teachers are in jeans or not? Not at all. Most students don't notice the teacher's clothes.
If students and teachers are both uncomfortable, how are the two supposed to cooperate together?
The solution is simple. Students do not expect all dress code rules removed. Students expect reasonable dress codes for those who are uncomfortable 'dressing up' every single day. They are still young. Yet they are understanding. The dress codes do not need to be so strict.
Students see the reason in some dress code regulations such as the skirt and short arm length rule. Most can agree on that. The ripped jeans are somewhat understandable. Rips above the knee should be the rule? Open toe shoes? These students aren't fresh out of Kindergarten. They aren't stumbling around like idiots. No student had a problem with safety regarding open toe shoes at Williamstown High School.
Cell Phone: 'Cell Phones may not be seen, heard or used during the school day. They may be used during Lunch and Study Hall.'
Lately, technology has been progressing in society. Not just socially, but for business and lifestyles in general. By banishing the use of cell phones to students, this does nothing to help prepare them for the real world.
In the real world, there are a plethora of online opportunities. Social media is something that needs acknowledgment to help the students learn to use it. Most students have social media but are unaware of the positives and negatives of social media.
Not to mention the many classes at Williamstown High School that help with cell phones. Classes such as Photography where the class has around 6 classes a day of 30 students only has 7 professional cameras. Is the school district looking to pay for millions of dollars (the average cost of a single camera used in this class is around $600 according to Best Buy's Nikon DSLR) for professional cameras when the average smart phone camera is as good? How are people such as Graphic Design students supposed to learn how to run a business online for their talents? Or online engineers? Computer science students?
It's not only electives that benefit, but core classes as well. There are countless apps to help in every single class. Timers for lab assignments, news apps for Social Studies, literary apps for English, and free graphic and scientific calculators.
Cell phones are not only used by students for texting and social media. Most students would rather be introduced to learning in a way they understand and respect. It is understandable for disciplinary actions against students who abuse this by disturbing the class. Students understand that but expect it to be reasonable.
But that's not all cell phones have to offer for students at WHS. Some may use them to text a family member for emergencies they do not wish to share with others. Yes, students are aware that they can contact parents through the office, but if a student is having a personal problem, they most likely will want to seek out someone familiar such as a family member without having to leave class.
As for the solution to cell phones, the students agree that it will improve their education as well as their characters. So, why not invite this technology into the classroom instead of condemning it? Why not take advantage of resources to save money as a school district? Cell phone usage should be monitored to be sure that students are taking advantage of these learning opportunities in the classroom.
No Open Containers: As of September 7, 2017, no student at WHS was drinking alcohol on school property through water bottles. What do students currently use water bottles and other drink bottles for? To stay hydrated. To help headaches and other medical conditions without having to leave class to search for the nearest water fountain. Not to mention how unsanitary those water fountains truly are with no fault at the school itself, it's simply a popular place for germs.
After all, WHS only recently installed machines near the lunchrooms to refill bottles. Was that a waste of money?
Most students believe this is the most unfair new rule of all. Students are human beings. For 7 hours, students are stripped of small rights while in school, and this now includes not being able to drink from a water bottle in class.
These are students who also spend more time at school after the regular school day for sports or clubs. They are not able to go home to get a water bottle.
These rules are in effect at the beginning of the school year thus causing many students unwanted stress and unneeded stipulations.
Students do not blame the new principal all together, these are all problems students have talked about for years but none have been able to do much to change the opinions of the school board and school principal. These students feel not only disrespected by these rules, but these rules also cause discipline for some ridiculous reasons.
I am looking to help make WHS a better environment for students and staff alike. To help students and staff enjoy their time at the school instead of dreading it. I'm hoping to get enough signatures to convince the Monroe Township Board of Education and the Williamstown High School staff that students and staff wish to have a better life and experience at WHS.
This petition was made with the intention for a positive change. By no means is there any disrespect intended towards the staff and school.
** Please note that we will require much more than just 100 signatures to make this happen or even talked about, that is simply the first milestone!
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