Up Roar in Hallways Causes Whole School Assemblies


Photo by Kenzie Vetorino

The survey students took prior to the assembly.

Kenzie Vetorino, Staff Writer

On Wednesday, Nov. 3 Barnstable High School had two fights and one fire said Principal Elizabeth Freedman. Following these events all the grades were required to go to an assembly where Freedman addressed the incidents on Nov. 3.

“This behavior will not be tolerated at this school” said Freedman.

More rules are being put in place at BHS, and one of the things the teachers and administrators are focusing on is the issue of students in the hallways during class. Freedman has said that this has now become a safety issue to students and staff. Students will only be allowed to go from point A to point B with a signed pass from their teacher. There are going to be staff members at most of the bathrooms with sign in sheets. Advisory is also going to be “on lockdown”, as Freedman put it at the assemblies . Once students are in their advisory they can not leave unless their teacher allows it and issues a signed pass. 

“People should not have a pass that was signed 20 minutes prior from a teacher at the other end of the school,” said Hope Taylor, the associate principal of student support, who also spoke at the assemblies.

Another issue that is going to try and be solved is vaping and drug use in the bathrooms. Freedman has already expressed her sadness that students have to use nicotine or marijuana just to get through the school day. So the school, at some point, will be installing new vape detectors. This issue has also gotten to the point where people will avoid certain bathrooms just so they don’t have to deal with the people vaping in them, which Freedman mentioned in the assembly.

“When I was in eighth grade I refused to go to the bathroom at school” said Junior, Hannah Jensen.  

There are consequences for if students are in a fight or if they are at the fight and doing nothing to help, and it is an automatic suspension of five to ten days. If students record the fight or are showing the video to people then that will also be a suspension, but it all depends on what is done with the video. 

This behavior will not be tolerated at this school”

— Freedman

Freedman is also trying to find ways to help the people involved. She is looking for the education piece of things, so that might mean that the people involved will have to do community service as they come back to school.

“ People are hurting each other and bystanders are videoing it, ” said Freedman.  

The School Committee sent out a survey to students during advisory on Nov. 10, but some students found it too long to complete, because it had few sections with multiple choice questions and an open response section at the end. It was  about the safety of the school and if students felt emotionally and physically safe at school. There was another survey given to students during yet another advisory from Massachusetts Youth Health. This took a long time as well with 96 multiple choice questions for students to answer. This survey included home and school life questions, and all student answers will remain anonymous. 

“It just got to the point where it was taking so long I just didn’t finish it” said Jensen. 

On the same day the Massachusetts Youth Health survey was sent out Freedman sent out a survey in regards to the assemblies. She had made a nearpod for students to participate in at the original assemblies, but she found that students did not answer those questions at the assemblies. Freedman’s survey asked students if they felt emotionally safe and physically safe at BHS. Then there were three open responses asking students what responsibly, respect, and safety looks like at BHS. 

Would you be interested in working with a group of students and staff on improving the school culture in our building? This would include creating our behavior expectations” Freedman said at the end of the survey.