Pride Time hinders freedom


Phuong Nguyen

Students must carry one of the Pride Time passes pictured above to be eligible to go a teacher after W4.

A new change called “Pride Time” has come into effect earlier this month. Pride Time replaces the former Flex Schedule where students were obligated to attend a rotating schedule of classes following their W4 period.

Although the absence of Flex is something for students to celebrate, Pride Time is an even more depressing change.

The W4 block has been reduced to 10 minutes. Students are instructed to remain in their homerooms for the next 73 minutes before W6 unless summoned by a teacher or counselor for reasons such as academic obligations, clubs, tutoring or counseling.

Leaving W4 before the period is over is not permitted during Pride Time. Teachers must now “reserve” students to their classrooms to excuse them from W4 with the use of a spreadsheet system.

Passes are distributed to requested students at the start of the new W4 block to validate their eligibility to visit another classroom.

Replacing Flex with Pride Time is a flawed approach. The new policy hinders students’ ability to make their own academic decisions.

Students are now stuck in their W4 which was originally intended as space for conducting day to day announcements. Depending on the student, they may or may not be engaging in productive work during the new extended version of W4.

Assistant Principal Jamie Carayiannis stated that “The least our school can do is provide these kids [with] an hour and 15 minutes every other day to give them a chance to use our library and technology to get caught up on homework and get some help.”

However, having the chance to even use the library will be difficult under the new Pride Time schedule. Teachers are only permitted to give two library passes to students in their W4 and only a maximum of 75 students will be allowed to enter.

What school sets a quota to control the amount of kids that use the library? This completely defeats the purpose of setting up space for students to complete their work.

Carayiannis ensures that Pride Time aims to encourage student accountability.

“There were a ton of kids that weren’t going where they were supposed to go and [it] was very hard to keep them accountable for that,” Carayiannis said.

If the main purpose of Pride Time is to promote accountability, more students should be able to gain access to every available academic option to make use of their time.

In addition, Pride Time has caused widespread confusion and scheduling conflicts for students and teachers.

The new student request system creates a burden on technology specialist Jennifer Cory who is in charge of cutting up passes and putting them in teachers’ mailboxes. Around 1,000 students reported to a teacher last Pride Time, highlighting the nuisance of using passes to get from class to class.

Students have struggled to ask their teachers in time to excuse them from W4. The reason being is that signups end at a particular time in order for hall passes to be printed and distributed to students.

Pride Time restricts intelligent and proactive students from using their time to the fullest.

The new approach will wreak havoc for busy IB Diploma candidates who are accustomed to going from teacher to teacher for help on their difficult classwork.

These students make up the minority of kids that care about their academic performance.

Likewise, students with challenging course loads and those who are at least passing every class should be able to decide for themselves where to make use of their academic time.

Without these students, one can imagine how deplorable  the school’s achievement turnout would be.

After all, one purpose of high school is to prepare students for the outside world where the need for effective decision making skills is strongly emphasized. Pride Time restricts students from making such life decisions.

In addition, another downside to Pride Time is that some teachers request students for too many days. This prevents other teachers from summoning students that they believe are in need of remediation.

Requesting students to classrooms is very similar to being “directed” to a teacher under the old Atom Time schedule. Atom Time or even the dreaded Flex period should be brought back to avoid this mess.

“I find [Pride Time] very inconvenient because [it’s] like the dictator version of Atom Time,” junior Gelila Reta said.

During the transition from W4 to Pride Time, I find it overbearing that administrators have to yell for everyone to pull out their passes to check their whereabouts. Students are simply going to class, not a foreign country. If carrying a piece of paper is that important, why not give everyone passports since so much energy is wasted on regulating every move that students make?

It’s understandable that the enforcement of Pride Time serves to prevent students from wandering the halls and leaving school. Nevertheless, students that do obey the rules are unfairly punished.

We’ve gone through Atom Time, Flex and now Pride Time. A new system should not be created every year to address problems that can be fixed without punishing the whole school.

If students are caught roaming the halls or attempting to ditch, they should individually receive the necessary consequences.

It’s disheartening to know that in the 21st century, students who attend school to gain an education are not even allowed to pick and choose how to utilize their free period.

Nowadays, AHS has become a more rigid environment where superfluous rules govern every action.

The concept of “Atom Pride” was introduced at the beginning of the school year. 

Nonetheless, It’s hard for students to show pride in their school when they’re not even trusted to use their free time wisely.