A loudspeaker crackled. Students lives were altered…
On October 19th, the principal of the North Shore Middle School made an announcement to the entire school explaining a new policy that was going into effect on Monday, October 23rd. Mr. Dennis announced that students are no longer permitted to go to lockers before 7:45 AM, unlike before, when students were allowed to roam the school at anytime. However, when we got our new principal, he asked us what we would like to keep as part of our school culture. Well, here are a few ideas.

From an 8th Grader in the Middle

Many people spoke to me about the new policy. One of my teachers spoke about this new rule and pointed out a really important fact that I never really thought about. Most schools do have this policy, she said; our school never did. The old principal, Dr. Ferris, wasn’t concerned about this and didn’t believe it was necessary; but now that we have a new principal, Mr. Dennis, he enforced this rule to ensure safety. Now, I don’t agree with this rule. But I do think it could get rid of future problems. From a safety perspective and for legal reasons, I think this is an important rule, but having everybody in the same room with their backpacks couldn’t be a safe thing, and be dangerous if anything. Majority of the kids are upset with this new rule, I’m in the middle. You can socialize with your friends, and I think this would help people who miss homework a lot, since you can work during this time too. I don’t agree nor do I disagree with this new rule. Because when it’s time to leave the rooms you’re in,iIt’ll end up with pushing and maybe even people falling over due to people trying to get to their lockers in time.

From a Double-Opinionated Student

This new policy is that students cannot enter the building until 7:00 in the morning. From there, they must report directly to the library, for those students who want to study or do work, or report to the cafeteria, for those students who want to socialize. They must stay in these locations til 7:45, unless they are going to extra help which they are allowed to leave at 7:30. Even those students may not go to their locker until 7:45. After Mr. Dennis, the school principal, took the time out of his day to talk to different classrooms to give an explanation for why he created this, I have changed my perspective on this matter. Instead of being completely against it, I now am in the middle.

Mr. Dennis shared the fear he has of students being in a school with no adult supervision because of the previous encounters he has experienced in his old school. A kid had gotten stung by a bee, which he was allergic to, and there was no faculty to help him out. After hearing this, I understand why he doesn’t want students to enter the building until 7:00. As a principal, he is responsible for everyone, even the faculty, from the time the enter to the time they leave. If a person were to get hurt under his supervision, he would feel extremely awful for not putting a rule in place sooner. I also believe that as students, we should not have full roam of the hallways by ourselves. A lot can happen in the span of five minutes, someone can cut themselves, fall down the stairs, and more. One of the main responsibilities as principal of this school is to ensure safety for everyone. And if he believes this new policy with stop some safety risks, then I can’t hurt.

Although I am aware that students being unsupervised in the classrooms and roaming the hallways before school is a growing safety hazard, which I agree with to a certain extent, I have a few concerns on this matter. One of them being, is there enough space to fit all of us? I’m not sure about the other grades, but I know that in 8th grade, during our lunch period in the cafeteria there is almost just enough space for us all. But what about the other two grades of students? Yes, the library is also an option for space but is that really enough? Then when we get released all at the same time, everyone’s going to be rushing to get to their lockers in time so they are not late to advisory.

I’m torn between thinking this new policy is completely negative or completely positive. As a student who gets here everyday at 7:30, this is going to affect me as well and can see why many students think this is a negative change. But, I can also see where Mr. Dennis is coming from. He just wants to do all he can to make sure his faculty and students are safe. However, only time will tell if this policy is for the better for not.

From “JFK”

Effective Monday October 23rd, if a student comes into school before 7:30 and is not attending extra help, they are required to go immediately to the cafeteria or the library and stay there until 7:45. Then and only then, are they allowed to go to their locker and then go to their advisory. Some of you may be ok with this, and not care. Others, for whatever reason, may be happy with this and support this new rule. However, from what I’ve seen, most people are not happy with this rule and are very against it.

I am in no position to question Mr. Dennis and his skills as a principal or his reasoning behind his decision, however, I, like many of my peers, am unable to see the benefit from this rule and how the effect of it can be beneficial to students in anyway. While anybody who is neutral in this matter or anyone who supports this may claim that this rule was made so students don’t get out of control and to keep the students safe. I am confused on how this is possible as I have been at this school for 3 years, and, so far, it has been pretty clear that the students in all grades are able to control themselves adequately in the morning without any restrictions on their freedom to roam the school. Furthermore, the safety of this school is outstanding and I doubt this rule will increase safety if not decreasing it. If anything were to happen and all the students were in two places, a person threatening the school could easily go to one of these places and threaten half the school very quickly. I personally believe, and I wouldn’t be surprised if, some of my fellow students thought this too, but I believe that this rule is spontaneous and a is a violation of our freedom. In the past we have been given lots of freedom.

This is a sudden reversal of fortune for our liberty as students of North Shore Middle School. I will have to accept the rule one way or another but I hope that it will be repealed before it can integrate as a permanent part of our routine at this school. In conclusion, I hope that everyone reading this will see my reasoning for being against this rule and I also hope that if you are already against this rule that you will respect Mr. Dennis’s authority and decision.

From “A”

When we got a new principal, the principal asked us what we would like to keep as part of the North Shore middle school. I wrote down locker decoration. Yes, we will have time to decorate, but by then they are probably already there. Even if we still do it, locker decoration takes time. By then the surprise is not a surprise. Some may argue that it’s just a locker. Well, what about the people who have instruments? They will have to run from the cafeteria, or the library to put their instrument in a cubby. Or what about sports? The same thing, but you have to unlock your gym locker, put your sports page in, and run to your real locker. Then what? Another five minutes? Then all the chaos with everyone trying to get their stuff in their locker? You have to wait for all the people next to you, and under or above you to get to your locker. Time is limited.

The most importantly safety issue is leaving. Everyone clogged up in the cafeteria or the library, and the second that announcement comes on, everyone will be sprinting to their lockers and running down the stairs. Someone will fall down those stairs and hurt themselves. Someone will hurt themselves. The odds of that happening just increased from before. If anyone hurts themselves running to the locker, it would be because of the rush to get to their locker.

From an 8th Grader Looking for Time

Many students rushed out of advisory to talk to their friends and voice their opinions on the rule, some say it’s a good change other people think it’s too extreme. What are your feelings? I’m in the middle. I see both the positive and negative effects of this. With the large amounts of students that will be in either the library or cafeteria. Both rooms will be both loud and very crowded. By the time 7:45 am hits there will be a rush from either the cafeteria or library to get to lockers.

By this point, there is too many people in the hallways at once,  and you will have to wait a while to get to your locker. This poses a potential issue of kids being late to advisory because of the fact that we all can’t get to our lockers quickly. Also, the cafeteria is going to become very loud and there’s not enough seats or room in the cafeteria for us all to sit. Finally, if there is a birthday and someone wants to decorate it, students need more time to do it.

I understand what this rule was put in place for: Mr. Dennis wants to ensure the safety of our students and I respect the decision that was made. Mr. Dennis visited the classrooms to voice his reasoning and answer questions. I think the rule was put in place for a positive reason.

However, I think that instead of 7:45 AM, we should be allowed to visit our lockers at 7:30. Many students have instruments or sports clothes that they need to bring down to
the locker room or music rooms. There is also going to be a jam in the hallway. I think that 7:30 would give students enough time.

From “Half-Eaten Carrot Sticks”

Apparently, this has been a rule for a while now although the former principal, Dr Ferris, hadn’t enforced it and essentially looked over it. Everyone, no matter where their advisory or locker is, must gather in either the cafeteria or library before this time, unless you’re heading to Extra Help or an activity before school, called “Zero Period.” You could do your homework or chat with friends, but everyone has to gather up into one of two rooms, which many students see as unnecessary and pointless.

One issue that is really only going to effect some people is that some students tend to decorate the lockers of their close friends whenever it reaches their birthday. Once this rule is enforced, a pleasant surprise that most would see would be gone. That small bit of joy someone would get on the morning of their special day would never appear. While this isn’t exactly impactful to any of our educations, it affects students in terms of their own personal lives.

Another reason this may not work out is that with everyone gathered in a room, the volume and noise of all the students may distract those who wish to do their work with their friends. Heading to the library may not work, as people are going to end up loud no matter what. It would be near impossible for anyone to focus without distraction. Besides, if a friend went to the library and if you went to the cafeteria, you won’t be able to go out to visit their friends.

A third problem is that the moment it does hit 7:45, everyone’s going to flood out of the cafeteria or library into the hallways. It’d be a sudden mob leaving these rooms through a single exit into thin hallways, all going in different directions. This leads to a constant “barrier” in the halls, and if someone stops to try and talk with a friend they would either hold back others or get pushed around in the hallways.

Finally, there’s the issue of phones. If everyone still has their bags, they’re bound to have their phones as well. This could always lead to the ever-so-popular social media issue, of taking photos of others or recording videos and such. From this, people can upload these to wherever, whether it’s their instagram, snapchat, or something else, which could lead to a chain of cyberbullying.

All in all, this new policy can lead to many more issues. Leaving everyone in the halls, although it may be rather noisy, would prevent a large number of these issues and cause less issues, letting everyone socialize instead of being cooped up in a room.

Voice Your Opinion

What do you think of this new policy?


  1. I think that students should be able to go to their lockers very early before 7:45, because so students could be able to get your books for their classes for the day or the students do not when the other students are screaming in the hallways!! I think that students can go to their lockers right before 7:45. I do not support this idea for our school. I know that Dr. Ferris policy, when he was the principal was that, students could be able to go their lockers before 7:45. I think that that rule is much fair and that students could be able to build friendships by following that rule. I hope to be hearing from you very soon!!
    Sincerely, Krista.