Illustration of shared hallpass

Illustration by Carla Hau

Get rid of shared hallpasses

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Although paper hall passes were used last year, this year, the school decided to stop the use of them and return to the use of shared, plastic hall passes. Although it seems more convenient, sharing hall passes is really unsanitary. Since everyone goes to the restroom with it, there is bacterial build-up. On top of that, many students forget about them and end up leaving them in the restrooms. Lost passes could be misused to skip class. 

There are instances wherein students place their hall pass on the ground while using the restroom, which is unhygienic. The restroom floor is unclean and contaminated with particles of feces and other germs. Even though students usually wash their hands after they are done using the restroom, they will touch the hall pass again, which gets their hands dirty again. 

While students use the restroom, most do not use the lanyard and hang it around their necks. Instead, they usually leave it on top of the toilet paper dispenser or another surface. Because of that, students often forget about it and leave it behind. This leads to hall passes being lost. While this could be trivial, students that find them can use lost passes to skip class. Since they’re holding onto a pass, campus supervisors would assume they are walking to the restroom. However, they are using it to skip class. 

Teachers understandably do not trust their students to go to the restroom without a hall pass, as some students leave for extended periods of time to avoid class. However, before going to the restroom, students usually seek permission from their teachers, so the purpose of a hall pass is unnecessary. Instead of having to grab the hall pass before they leave to use the restroom, students should be allowed to go without it. Going to the restroom without a hall pass lowers the risk of losing it. Students that find lost passes may misuse them in order to skip class. Additionally, going without a pass is more sanitary. After using the restroom, students would just have to wash their hands. They do not need to touch the bacteria-contaminated hall pass again. 

Instead of using a physical hall pass, the school should switch to digital alternatives. The concept is that students just have to scan a QR code and fill out the form it leads to. This is similar to the physical sign-in and out forms we already have. The form asks for basic information, such as the time the student leaves and comes back, their full name, and where they are going. After submitting the form, it will generate a “hall pass” which shows all this information. If the student gets stopped by a campus supervisor, they can pull it out and show them that. 

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