Changes in rule enforcement disappoint students

Anna Gavgani, Staff Writer


This school year, a number of new policies and school rules were enacted (or more strictly enforced) to ensure a more consistent and well-structured environment for both students and staff. Although these changes may have been made in the best interest of students, the majority of the Madison student body shares the same opinion about them: they are disappointed. According to a survey conducted by the Hawk Talk, 80% of Madison students do not support the increased enforcement of school rules this year.

The FCPS School Board updated the Students Rights and Responsibilities on June 16 for the 2022-23 school year for all FCPS schools. Part of this update included a new cell phone policy, which states that cell phone usage is no longer permitted during class time.

The new cell phone policy is somewhat understandable given that students often feel the temptation to absently scroll through social media and or message their friends, which could result in missing out on important lessons and information that teachers provide. A good balance is needed concerning the usage of phones during school; however, regulating the phones, including forbidding students from listening to music during independent study limits their freedom to choose how they want to engage with their classwork.

“Music is a way for a lot of people to focus,” Kyra Aukofer (’25) said. “It makes sense for the earbuds to be out during instructions, but not if there’s nothing important going on.”

Another major change at Madison this year is Warhawk Time, which has officially been split into two parts. Originally, the Madison administration concluded on only one Warhawk Time with no travel between any classes at all to keep students and staff safe and accountable. After finalizing the decision, the split has finally taken place but only at the cost of limited movement and fewer choices when determining which teachers to visit over the course of a single hour.

“Y’all gotta let us move around in Warhawk Time and not restrict us to two rooms,” Kyan Yang (’25) said. “We have seven classes, not two, how am I supposed to get all my work done?”

Along with the changes to Warhawk Time, there have also been changes to the requirements for accessing the hallways during school hours. Each teacher was given two color-coordinated hallway passes to provide their students whenever it was necessary to take a trip outside of the room. The room number and the colors decorating the pass determined which hallway a person came from, allowing security guards to easily understand the location, even from a distance. All of these extra precautions were put in place with the intention of guaranteeing a safer experience on school grounds.

While it is a good idea to enforce a steady and consistent school schedule, there is a line where much-needed safety crosses into overprotectiveness. The no cell phone policy is widely disliked, and Warhawk Time has turned into a stressful and restricted experience for many students at Madison. For the next school year, students are hoping for more leniency from administration regarding the rules both FCPS and Madison sets.