Should Students Be Allowed to Leave School During IRT?

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Certainly a controversial topic among the students here at West Morris Central High School is whether or not they should be able to leave school during IRT. There are many pros and cons to this subject. Ultimately, it is a matter of whether the students can be responsible and trustworthy. Despite all of the “what if?” questions, students should have the right to leave school grounds during their free period.

There are a number of reasons why students should be able to leave school during IRT. We attend high school to prepare us for college and to thrive in a working environment. Especially in college, which most of our students opt to pursue, students are free to leave a lecture hall, dorm room, dining hall, etc. at their own will. Being able to leave school during IRT, for whatever reason, would give students more of a college feel than feeling like they still need to be watched over. Furthermore, there is the convenience of Quick Chek. If a student leaves their lunch at home, or is craving a certain item from Quick Chek, they would be able to drive down the road and come back to the school in a matter of minutes. School is also one of the most major stressors in a teenager’s life. Being able to leave school just to escape all of the stress would likely have a huge impact on student behavior and performance, improving the overall school atmosphere.

It is important to consider, however, the reasons as to why leaving IRT may not be such a great idea. One major concern is the heightened attention towards school safety. In the middle of the day, how would a student be able to enter school when all of the doors are locked? Entering the main doors would be too overwhelming, as the secretaries would have to deal with, and write passes for, hundreds of students a day. Also, anybody can pass off as a student, and it would create a major problem if somebody that passed off as a student entered the school. Another question to be asked is what if students are late to return? What would the consequences be? Furthermore, students are protected at school. However, if they leave school grounds, anything can happen. If a student did not return, for some tragic reason, how would our school’s administration be able to overcome such an event, when there were concerns to begin with?

Although there are many signs that say students should stay in school during IRT, it is time that administration trusts our students to prepare for college life and have more freedom instead of feeling restricted. Of course, this would be a privilege that could be revoked easily, and would likely come with a strict set of rules. However, if it can reduce stress and improve the atmosphere of our school, it is worth giving it a shot.

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