Students Passing by Without a Principal’s Pass

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Rule-following freshman Emily Haag sits in boredom at lunch on campus (Michael Smith)

 Jewelanne Stewart, Features Reporter

During the crazy lunch rush, more than half of the students here at Rangeview High School go out to a fast food joint to get lunch instead of eating the school lunch. However, students are only eligible to leave school if they have a principal’s pass on their ID card.

A principal’s pass is a student-earned privilege to leave campus during their lunch or off period. The requirements for being able to have a principal’s pass are that students have to be a sophomore, junior, or senior, have a 2.75 Grade Point Average, no discipline referrals, and a 93% attendance in the previous quarter of the school year.

Freshmen are not allowed to have principals passes.

“They need to get used to the school and its surroundings before we let them off campus,” said Assistant Principal Ian Mulligan. “It is a bigger risk when they leave campus because they may never come back and start a bad habit way too early.”

Freshmen, however, have other opinions.

“I feel like us freshmen should be able to have principal’s passes because we are just like everyone else just in the lowest grade,” said Freshmen Brianna Stewart. “So what we’re new to the school? We should all be treated equally and not looked down upon.”

Some students go by the rules that Rangeview has, but a little more than 50% of students do not have a principal’s pass and still leave campus. If a student gets caught leaving campus without a principal’s pass, they may get in-house suspension for the rest of the day and possibly even Saturday School.

Mulligan put in his opinion on how principal passes work. “The pass itself is equitable. Students try so hard in all of their classes and only get a 2.5 GPA. They try as hard as they want and only get a 2.5 and they are not eligible to leave campus,” said Mulligan. “I believe that if you work hard enough, get good grades, good attendance, and no behavior referrals, you should be able to get a principal’s pass.”

Some students hold the same beliefs.

“I believe that it is incentive to get good grades just to get a principal’s pass. However, the attendance policy that is with the requirements is outrageous. Someone may be having surgery and be out of school for three weeks and still get good grades but not be able to leave campus because they were excused. It just makes no sense,” said junior Marina Oehler. “If you have good grades and a good GPA I feel like you should be able to go off of campus regardless of your attendance.”

While some people feel like they should be able to leave campus regardless of the requirements, English teacher Dawn Weber thinks otherwise.

“Students need to eat at school because they need to demonstrate their ability to go to class and get good grades to be able to leave campus.”

“If they decide to leave without a principal’s pass and get caught, that is their problem, but the consequences of getting in trouble should result in after school detention or even Saturday school,” said Weber. “They should not be sitting in in-house for the rest of the day because they did that to themselves. Students need to do fulfill their punishment on their own time.”

“I think a principal’s pass is extra motivation for students to do well in school and shows a mutual trust between student and faculty. If a student demonstrates responsibility in the classroom, then it is likely the student with the principal’s pass will be responsible with it off campus as well,” said photography teacher Alison Manciu.

Having a principal’s pass in school is just like having a driver’s license outside of school. Studnets need their School ID on them at all times, and everywhere they go in the school it needs to be on them to prove that they attend here. Once a person gets in a car, they need their driver’s license everywhere they go to show that they are capable of being responsible. If students feel responsible enough to drive everywhere, they are more than capable of going to class and getting good grades, so they are rewarded to leave campus whenever they are on an off hour or when they are at lunch. All studnets have to do is show up and get their work done to get good grades.