Has Jones Taken Rule Enforcement Too Far?

How the Crackdown on School Policies Have Divided Students & Staff

With the beginning of a new school year came an assortment of changes in rule enforcement and disciplinary action. Right out of the gate, administration made it a point that many things they used to let slide will no longer be tolerated – most targeted offenses being the lack of an ID around your neck, and wearing a hat anywhere around the building.

Because of the sudden change, there has been a lot of backlash within the student population, particularly the upperclassmen that were so accustomed to having certain privileges.

A lot of complaints have stemmed from the fact that wearing ID’s were never made to be a big deal until now, and the arguments used to justify the switch are weak at best. Wearing them proves that you are in fact a student that attends the school, and Jones does not want to take a chance of having potential threats or strangers roaming the halls. While that is valid, it just serves to be an annoyance for students who believe that it is corny and quite cumbersome.

Added to the annoyance is the harsh discipline that many students receive on a day-to-day basis for being caught without one: five detentions, no questions asked. This just creates a large rift between students who do not care for the rule and the administration, who seems to be ruling with an iron fist.

But, even more perplexing is the implementation of the ban on hats inside the school. As soon as you step in the door, administration, security, and even some teachers immediately remind you about taking off your hat. And, if you do not comply, you could be facing five detentions or even the possibility of having your hat confiscated.

To students like me, I can look past the goofiness of the ID rule and live with it – but hats are an integral part of my everyday outfits.  So, the fact that for seemingly no reason Jones has a problem with it is both frustrating and oppressive; it is an unneeded rule enforced simply to display power.

The defense used to justify this rule is even more bizarre than the rule itself, since the most you will get out of an authority figure is that men should not wear hats in buildings generally – which is an age old custom that should be abolished due to its lack of modern relevancy – or, they will simply tell you that rules are rules – an easy way to dodge valid criticism.

As a student, I know that my school is trying its hardest to make this a great environment that fosters learning and a progressive social mindset; but, it is difficult to sit back and allow certain things to be carried out without at least voicing my opinion. Through these rules and the exponentially more strict enforcement of them, Jones is creating a relationship between its authority figures and students that is, to say the least, unhealthy. Students see staff more as people they have to watch out for rather than people that are just watching out for them. This is horrible for Jones moving into the future – we want to create a place where staff and students get along in harmony, not where students feel like there are people always breathing down their neck over arbitrary rule constructs.