By Jenna Baker, Jane Hanna, and Samantha Rupnik
Administration and staff have recently begun to more strictly enforce many of its rules for when students are out of class.
Vaping in restrooms is one of the largest behavioral issues that the administration is currently addressing. According to California Education Code, schools may not allow students to use tobacco products on campus or at school-sponsored activities, and this includes vaping.
This caused the administration to require stricter security around bathrooms. Security guards have been assigned to monitor both outside and inside the restrooms, especially during breaks.
Along with being illegal, students vaping in the restrooms continuously sets off the fire alarms, distracting both students and staff.
Vaping has not been the only issue in the restrooms on campus. Students have also been engaged in various sexual activities as well.
Therefore the administration has had to regulate bathroom usage more. Teachers have been asked to have the deans or security guards check on students if they have been in the restroom for more than ten minutes, which is a change from previous years.
“We don’t want to spy on students, we want to help them,” Administrative Director Julia Howelman said.
This additional security presence also comes after a recent incident at Helen Berstein High School where one of their students overdosed on fentanyl in a bathroom on campus. This has heightened scrutiny on campuses across the valley including GHC.
In order to prevent potentially life-threatening behavior on campus, several existing rules have been more strictly enforced as well. The school only allows one student out of each class at a time. Administration hopes this will limit aimless wandering around campus. Hall passes must also be completely filled out and signed by the teacher in order to help security make sure students are not out of class for the wrong reasons. Also, there should be only one student in a stall at a time.
These rules are not new, but they have been more lax until this year.
Administration is currently also looking into approval for a new rule that would require students to bring either their student ID or Chromebook every time they use the restroom. Some teachers have already adopted this method.
Although many of these rules are either pre-existing or extensions of existing rules, many students find them excessive.
“They are taking such extensive measures without even explaining why to their students,” senior Gustavo Arredondo said.
However, the school’s main goal is to keep students safe while they are on campus. By restricting students to ten minutes in the bathroom, there will be less of a risk of vaping or sexual activity and therefore a safer campus.