Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
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Jan. 5, 2007

SGA's lock-out policy complaint rejected

by Josie Callahan, Online Features Editor and Copy Editor
SGA President Eric Hysen received a reply from Principal Phillip Gainous this morning rejecting his formal request for a review of the lock-out policy.

Hysen's request stated that the major problems with the policy are that the policy was developed and implemented without any student input, and that it was not in writing. According to Hysen, the absence of proper communication has resulted in conflicting messages on different issues within the policy, which could have been avoided if the policy was originally put in writing. "There are so many little intricacies that need to be resolved by putting it in writing so that the students and administrators are all on the same page," he said.

In filing these complaints, Hysen hoped to work out a compromise with Gainous to allow students one or two late arrivals with no penalty per semester. His reasoning is that the goal of this policy was to prevent students from losing credit in classes. He claims that students should be allowed at least one or two tardies without receiving a detention. The official LC policy allows students nine tardies before they lose credit.

Gainous rejected the SGA's complaint that the policy did not have student input and was not in writing, because the administration had to make an emergency decision to implement the policy; reportedly, so many students were losing credit in classes due to arriving school late. Gainous said that the policy was not new to the school, and that they are now simply deciding to enforce it.

Hysen said that the he is going to make a final attempt to reach a compromise with Gainous in a meeting Monday morning. If a compromise is not reached, the SGA plans to submit an official appeal to the Superintendent's Office. "We hoped to avoid the appeal process by reaching a compromise, but I am not optimistic about it," Hysen said. "If one is not reached on Monday, we will have no other choice but to move forward in the appeals process."

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  • Libertarian (View Email) on January 6, 2007 at 12:53 AM
    The policy is crystal clear. Go to class or you get detention. How hard can it be? That said, how hard is it for the administration to put that into writing? Again, read the planbook for the penalty for cutting class but staying in the building (HINT: it's worse than a detention).

    But on the other hand, what emergency was this? Kids knew full well of the consequences beforehand and if they aren't mature enough to get to class on time knowing that they'll LC the class if they don't, why is that an emergency? And even if it was, now that it's implemented, why can't they put the policy in writing?

    That's my problem with these administrative policies, they are not communicated at all to the school. Silver Chips is where I get all this information. We shouldn't need a newspaper to get official school policies. Good job Silver Chips but they are doing the stuff the school administration should be doing. Why is it that the pledge policy is not published? Silver Chips has the whole process of the appeal that happened a few years ago making standing optional. Is the pledge policy published anywhere? I believe the most they did was send out a thing on Blair Private to tell the teachers it was optional. From ID's to the pledge to just about every other policy, the big problem is communication. If the administration could have a place, online or on paper, where we could actually see what the policy is and what the punishment for breaking it is, you'd see a lot more kids accepting several policies. If they outlined why, they'd get even more support. Of course they don't seem to care about student support, after all they're in charge. I'm sure they mean well, but the school administration is beginning to look very bad. They have offered up several policies that they didn't explain, used horrible logic to support, and never explained them. Finally they implement a policy that makes sense. You come to class on time and you're fine. That's always been the rule, what's wrong with giving a punishment less than what's in the planbook for a rule that's been there all along? But Mr. Gainous had to open his mouth. "the administration had to make an emergency decision to implement the policy". Hmm, doesn't that sound a lot like the justifications for warrantless wiretapping? Suspension of Habeus Corpus?

    He also implies that this emergency is somehow hampering his ability to put the policy in writing. It wouldn't be hard and they could look really good if they did. They could say that although they won't change the policy, they agree with the SGA that it would be better put into writing, and comply with that request, making it look like a compromise. Instead they have dug their heals into the ground, and that's going to cost them.

    I would like to thank Eric Hysen for the job he's done so far as SGA President. For a job with no power whatsoever, he's made a huge difference. Because the title will get you one thing, an interview with Silver Chips. Great job on making our voices heard and communicating with the students. I appreciate your hard work.
  • really? on January 6, 2007 at 1:23 PM
    surprise, surprise, surprise...

    if they didn't ask us about in the first place, why would they listen when we complain? and since when has there been an "emergency situation" due to arriving late?
  • '07, was lenient with incoming (View Email) on January 6, 2007 at 7:07 PM
    freshmen are in blame for the emergency policy. how is it that now Blair is the worst school yet when three years ago i though it was fantastic. Not TOO overpopulated and i was able live with any polices the admin forced us to obey.
  • student on January 6, 2007 at 10:46 PM
    thank you so much eric. much appreciated!
  • - on January 6, 2007 at 11:14 PM
    how the heck does is it an "emergency situation" ?
  • hehe on January 7, 2007 at 11:51 AM
    Good job Eric.....I think your commitment means alot and I think with your integrity your the right person to try and get somewhere with this. I think as a SGA president your doing a great job and keep it up!!!!
  • Somone you may know on January 7, 2007 at 9:09 PM
    What emergency decision? Kids are LCing classes; that is not an emergency. That is not even relevant to half of the school. If for an entire week, all of the student did not show up to school at all, resulting in all the students LCing their classes, I would say that is an emergency. But this is not.
  • A Change on January 8, 2007 at 8:18 AM
    I normally disagree with Libertarian, partly as pass-time and partly because he seems to have a serious opinion on a great many things (a debate for another day), but I agree with him here. The policy was definately communicated to students poorly, but the policy is also pretty clear. Be on time, or get detention. Period. The rejection of Hysen's complaint shows that the administration is comfortable with this policy, and believes it is having a positive impact. So, continue to complain and protest and object all you like, the policy is here to stay and it really isnt that hard to deal with.
  • Eli Barnett on January 8, 2007 at 12:20 PM
    Not first year at this school, and im already used to seeing the rediculous policies.
  • Henry Scher (View Email) on January 8, 2007 at 2:20 PM
    Wow... Emergency decision? The only "emergency" is if the school is in danger of being shut down...

    And that is a reason not to get it in writing at all?

    Andclaiming an emergency is allowed to surpass the rules? I don't think so...
  • '09 on January 8, 2007 at 2:23 PM
    Go Hysen!
  • hope of karma on January 8, 2007 at 10:35 PM
    hmm why am i not surprised? I say Eric goes to the next level and file another appeal to the superintendant. That way the administrators will know what it like being looked and frowned upon be people more powerful than them. Hey, isn't that how we feel. I hate this school. We are no longer students but prisoners in this school. figures, We are weak.
  • Eli Barnett (View Email) on January 9, 2007 at 2:46 PM
    If the policy isnt on paper, the SGA can appeal on a higher level. That being said, they probably wont be listened to.
  • 08 on January 9, 2007 at 6:40 PM
    maybe somebody could get a petition going for hysen to take to the superintendant. i know i'd sign
  • ... on January 10, 2007 at 7:46 PM
    as much as I hate the whole policy... they really aren't enforcing it anymore.
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