DHS makes new rules about FLEX

Alicia Jacobs, Staff Writer

Recent rules placed during FLEX have begun to affect DHS students.
These rules include not being allowed to leave for FLEX without a pass from the office – even teachers’ passes won’t cut it anymore. Initially, many students found the rules extreme, often not being allowed to leave to use the bathroom or even go to the nurse’s office (which is evidently now closed during FLEX). While rules have changed to allow access to bathrooms and the nurses since then, criticisms have still been raised over these FLEX rules.
The purpose of FLEX is for the student to take advantage of and receive help or makeup work. But can students really use FLEX to its full advantage if they are not allowed to leave the classroom they’re scheduled for? Take a member of the yearbook or the Hatters’ Herald for instance. How are they supposed to check-in with their advisors and interview their needed subjects if they are not allowed to leave their scheduled classroom to go get those interviews? Take a student who was absent the day before. Shouldn’t they be able to take FLEX time to quickly check-in with their teacher on missing work, and then go back to their regular FLEX to work on a more pressing appointment (such as a missed test or quiz)?
However, there is still an understood safety concern of knowing where each student is located in the building, and it should be acknowledged that many students in the past have abused FLEX as a free period to walk around the school. To combat this, the system should be changed to where the student can change their FLEX any day of the week at any time. Instead of the Enriching Students Portal, where students schedule for FLEX, closing every Monday morning and opening again on Sunday night, students should be able to go in and change themselves in an appropriate FLEX classroom (as long as it isn’t full). It would be more convenient for teachers and students, while solving the safety concern. Even if a student needs to just go and see a teacher quickly to collect missing work or check-in with them, then the student should be able to receive a pass.
FLEX is like any other block. Therefore passes should be available if the student is needing assistance somewhere else and the portal is closed. The school administration should be able to trust teacher authority and allow teachers to give out passes when they acknowledge it’s appropriate just as they do with their regular classes. If necessary, a phone call to the room a student is going to with their pass can be made. In this way, the teacher should know where the student is and is accessible.
Of course, the decisions of the school affect students most, and therefore students’ opinions should matter the most. Senior Robert Ivansco somewhat agrees with the new rule: “I think that not being allowed to roam freely during flex is good; however, sometimes students just have to do stuff, like talk to a counselor.” On the other hand, senior Storm Jacobs believes it is too restricting: “We don’t get passes to go to places we need to go. The nurses office is even closed (which isn’t the brightest idea) and some teachers don’t even let you use the bathroom (which is against basic human rights), it’s ridiculous.” Danbury High students have a wide range of opinions on these rules, but one things for sure they all agree that students use the bathroom too.