Chamblee Charter High School is teeming with traditions. One such tradition for students is sitting in the hallways in the morning before school, doing homework or socializing with friends. Although simple, it is something that the students of Chamblee have always done… until this year.
Starting on the very first day of school, students headed to the cafeteria or gymnasium to receive their schedules, then sat down and waited to be released. As detailed in an email blast from the administration, students were not permitted to be in any hallways or other spaces on campus.
“When Ms. Braaten and I came last year, we noticed that the students were all over the buildings in different locations and were not being supervised,” said Assistant Principal Clifton Spears.
According to Spears, supervision of students before and after school is vital to students’ safety, and the jobs of all faculty could be on the line if anything were to happen.
“Once students come on campus, we’re responsible for the students,” said Spears. “So basically, once the student gets on a school bus [to go to school], until the time that they get back off that school bus [to go home], they’re the responsibility of the principal, assistant principals, and teachers.”
Many students feel, however, that they do not need to be so closely looked after in the mornings.
“Since we’re in high school, I don’t feel that it’s exactly fair for us to have to go and sit for 20 minutes before going to class, because that’s a really middle school thing,” said senior Ivy Catherine Rogers.
An assumption that most all students make about high school is that as high schoolers, independence can be more widely practiced.
“When you get to high school you’re supposed to be trusted with more freedom,” said Rogers. “That’s kind of the point.”
The new procedures have even sparked discontent among freshman, who hadn’t yet been acquainted with the tradition of sitting in the hallways in the morning.
Freshman Carly Aitken, who just entered CCHS, resents this new rule.
“[In high school] I was expecting to be able to do my own thing in the morning instead of having to be confined to one space,” said Aitken.
Aitken, along with many other students, was also concerned about how she would make it to club meetings and tutorials, or if she would have enough time to meet with a teacher or counselor.
“I want to go see my counselor in the mornings because of the schedule change [fixes], so I have to wait in line right before class,” said Aitken.
The administration has recently addressed this problem. Students who wish to attend a meeting in the morning must sign a sign-out sheet for each club, and are then allowed to attend that meeting.
Once signed out, the teachers (club sponsors) are responsible for making sure that the student actually makes it to the club they indicated.
“They [the sponsor] would be responsible for dealing with that student, whether it be removal from the club or some kind of penalty from the club,” said Spears.
Despite the efforts of the administration, the general consensus of the students and some faculty is that the change is unnecessary.
“It feels a lot like middle school,” said Sammy Hubbard. “They’re supposed to trust us more in high school so that we can do more valuable things with our time.”