Are Hall Changes Helpful or Counterproductive


The 2022-2023 school year has brought on many new policies for BSHS. For instance, hall sweeps, and the use of the Smart Pass have become the new norm.   

Luckily, since the beginning of the second semester, a minute was added back to our passing period. This increase makes it easier for students to make it to class on time. 

Being out in the hallway when class is in session is improper without a pass, so Smart Passes have been introduced. 

Milan Patel, Senior

Hall sweeps have affected many students, being it only the beginning of the second semester. The hallways have seemed a little less full lately, which is a good thing coming from the hall sweeps.  

Teachers and students have differing opinions on the policies.  

Senior Milan Patel has shared that the hall sweeps have made him hurry more to class. Though, rushing to class is not the only thing people have to worry for. Patel has been caught in a hall sweep and does not feel like they are helping.   

Patel states, “I think they are teaching students to hurry to class, which is a positive reinforcement.” With this positive reinforcement, there is also a negative connotation with the hall sweeps. 

Patel also mentions that when someone is “swept,” they are taken for ten to fifteen minutes, which makes them even later to class. This disrupts class, and it also makes the teachers restate instructions.    

Shawn Raven, Senior

When it comes to lasting impact, Senior Shawn Raven believes that hallway sweeps will have an impact. 

Raven explains, “Yes if they [the swept students} keep getting detention, I would say so. It depends on the person.” 

Junior Jae Harris has a similar opinion about the punishment for hall sweeps, saying, “I guess it depends on where your class is. Say it is raining and you’re upstairs. If you have to get to the gym, like me, then if I get caught in a hall sweep it will be because I didn’t want to get wet.” 

However, administrator, Vice Principal Mrs. Knudsen, feels that there have been positive outcomes from hall sweeps. She states, “Not as many kids are out in the hall, which in turn means more kids  are in the classroom for instruction.”

Mrs. Knudsen also mentions that there have been unfavorable effects where students get upset because they have been have been hall swept. She stresses that this system is not about getting students in trouble, but it is more about having a conversation. She believes there has been a positive effect already with hall sweeps and thinks it will continue to trend in the right direction.   

Heather Knudsen, Principal

After some adjustments, hall sweeps no longer bring students out of class. A student’s name will be put on a list to keep track of how many sweeps you might have been in. 

In addition to hall sweeps, the administration has added an extra minute to students’ passing periods. Mr. Duvall has stated that they made this change to make it easier for students to get to class, sort of like a peace offering or to “extend the olive branch.” 

Ms. Walls feels that with the extra minute, going to the bathroom might be slightly less stressful compared to before. She states, “I know the biggest problem was that kids wanted to go to the bathroom. That was quite a struggle because they were always full.” 

Students outnumber the number of stalls in the few bathrooms around the school that are open. Being able to have enough time to get through a small line helps make people on time to class or slightly less late.  

Jae Harris shares agrees on the extra minute. She explains, “I feel like I can actually go to the restroom and get to class on time now.” 

Jae Harris, Sophomore

This newly added minute seems to have improved tardiness compared to having the original four minutes.  

Smart Passes are the last modification added this school year. Students and teachers have had to adapt to a new system that tracks where students are and for how long.

Shawn Raven expresses his opinion on the new Smart Passes: “For me, personally, I kind of find them annoying because I do go to the nurse’s office quite a bit.”  

Since there is a limit of three passes a day, students who often become frustrated when they need to go places several times a day but are not allowed because of the limit. A popular opinion for students is that Smart Passes seem unneeded compared to paper passes.   

Teacher Ms. Walls thinks that Smart Passes can be more disruptive compared to paper passes: “I don’t mind them. I think my struggle is that if I’m teaching my students with my computer, it’s hard to swap back and accept a pass quickly.”  

Walls’ students know, though, to not ask to leave or disrupt the class until after she is done talking. There are downfalls and benefits for Smart Passes, but things that are new need adjustments.  

 The bonus of the Smart Pass, according to Walls is that. “… it tracks how long someone is out of the room…because there would be times in years past where I had students that were frequently gone for extended periods.”  

Also, the Smart Pass is beneficial for safety when students might be unreachable. Mr. Duvall, history teacher, has given an example of how Smart Passes are beneficial: If there might be a fire and a student is missing, checking the Smart Pass could hint to where they might be in the building. Without this added feature, a student could be trapped in a building, putting that person at risk. 

Ultimately, the changes made at BSHS this year are for the safety of the students, even if it might not feel that way. Understanding these changes, whether they might seem good or bad, is important, and though there may be an adjustment period, eventually they will be the new norm. 

Mr. Duvall, Teacher