New rules are not as new as they may seem

As students came back to campus, they noticed right away that there are some noticeable changes this year: doors are locked, every teacher is using a phone caddy, and students have to leave their phones in the classroom before leaving the class. As everyone is aware, the past two and a half years have been absolutely consumed with the coronavirus. There were a large number of rules and regulations on a large and small scale; and it was absolutely necessary for the time

However, as COVID numbers stabilize and dip, people begin to put COVID in their rear-view. For the first time since school time shut down in April of 2020, the school can now return to normal. Principal Heather Patterson explained, “This is the first year in three that we’ve had no protocols as far as COVID and quarantine, so we had to start back at the basics.”

With that return comes the enforcement of rules that were not a high priority during the pandemic. Most of the “new rules” are not new at all; they just have not been as regulated since the current senior’s freshman year. Patterson claimed, “There really are no “new rules.” We are just getting back to business to educate kids. Teachers need to be able to help you and focus on every student in their classroom on what that kid needs.”

There is only one new rule, which is actually a Chandler Unified School District rule: the locking of the school doors. Every school in CUSD must have their doors locked during the school day-including all elementary, middle, and high schools. This is a new policy related to the increase of public shootings within the past few months. “Ultimately, student safety is why we are all here. That’s our number one focus: make sure [students] are safe,” expressed Patterson.

Students have a number of mixed opinions concerning the return to these rules. Sophomore Bella Keselman explained, “I feel that last year, we had a good set of rules. I think that phones in the hallway are a bit insane, a bit much. I think the rules are [impacting learning].” Some students are annoyed, but others understand the reasoning. Junior Anvita Limaye shared, “The locked doors make sense to me. I understand the safety. It’s annoying, but it’s understandable. I get that things have changed within the past year. I feel that our safety is more important than having to knock on the door.”

All of the new enforcements of rules begs the question: are they actually working? “I know it is working. Kids know it’s working. Kids are talking about it. You can tell in the classrooms, the kids are more engaged, phones aren’t distracting them. During passing periods, kids are getting to class. When class is in session and instruction is going on, kids are out with a pass, they’re signing in and out, they’re leaving their phones in the classroom,” stated Patterson. 

Many people are COVID-fatigued. However with that shift, school policies and regulations are returning to their original rules and regulations. Whatever the students’ opinions may be about the return, these rules are here to stay.