School safety starts with us


Caden Tanner, Guest Writer

  “Teach the rules and deal with the exceptions. If you teach the exceptions, than the exceptions become the rules” (Packer).

  The point of this saying is to show that policies, when not enforced, can easily be lost in the chaos of exceptions. The only way policies have any kind of traction is if the teachers and faculty of a school are willing to enforce them. Their purpose is to keep the school safe, and when students disobey them and faculty let them slide, it puts the entire school in a state of disarray and possible danger.

  Schools everywhere have many different policies, including our very own Blackfoot High School. Some of these policies involve school dance policies, dress codes, swearing, bullying, cyber-bullying, electronic devices, etc. Although these policies and rules have been set for a long time, they are starting to lose their power and attention. Teachers and faculty are starting to be more lenient when students break these rules, and students don’t care about them. This tendency puts students in danger.

  Three examples illustrate this phenomenon.

  First, the Blackfoot High School student handbook on page 39 states that “any student or guest attending a Blackfoot High School dance who has been drinking, smoking, or whose actions are termed improper will be referred to the Blackfoot Police Department”.

  This policy is definitely not being followed today. Students aren’t afraid to do drugs or participate in improper actions because they know/think that they can get away with it. At a school dance, it is clear that there are many who are not obeying this policy, and are still attending the dance. Students who disobey this are supposed to be referred to the police, yet this does not happen.

  Second, the dress code. Dress codes are very common in schools. Blackfoot has a rule that any images or references on any kind of apparel about drugs, inappropriate material, etc, will result in a student being suspended and/or expelled. Every day when I walk down the halls, I will see at least one violation of the dress code, and no one does anything about it. The clothing at the high school regularly violates policies of modesty and coverage, yet teachers seem to turn a blind eye and not act. Another handbook policy that Blackfoot High School has involves holes in clothing.

  The handbook states, “No see through, sheer, transparent, or mesh clothing, excessively tight or torn, or revealing attire is permitted.” It seems that when someone wears something torn, tight, or revealing, the teachers shrug and let it go. 

  Third, electronic devices. Electronic devices in school has been a very big issue for awhile. Almost every teenager today has a cell phone, and almost every teenager today can’t put it down.

  According to the Blackfoot High School student handbook, “Students are to turn off cell phones (not on vibrate) and keep them out of sight during the instructional day.”

  That means that during class, not a single cell phone should be visible. Students and teachers have become so lenient on the cell phone policy that students think they can have their phones out at their leisure. Teachers don’t do anything about it when they see a student on their phone, when they should be sending them to detention.

  Now you may think that enforcing these rules have nothing to do with school safety, but policies have been put in place in schools to keep them safe and to assist in maintaining a learning environment. Once these policies begin to slide, rules which forbid bullying, cyber-bullying and other safety measures will follow.

  It is the violation of policies that puts us on a slippery road toward a less safe school experience. We need to make sure that these policies and rules are being enforced so that present and future generations, as well as our own, can have a safe learning experience everyday.