Baldwin High School Will Get Disposable Hall Passes
'Don't thank me. Thank the students. They made a good point.' – Superintendent Lawrence Korchnak
The students have won this round, as shared hall passes at Baldwin High School will soon be a thing of the past.
Responding to students' concerns and research presented at an April 4 Baldwin-Whitehall School Board meeting, B-W School District Superintendent Dr. Lawrence C. Korchnak has authorized the use of disposable hall passes at Baldwin High.
Korchnak made that announcement during Wednesday night's school board meeting, applauding Edward Lippl and Victoria Schmotzer, the district's senior and sophomore class representatives to the board, respectively, for speaking out about the school's previous practice of sharing hall passes between students even after they've been to school bathrooms.
Korchnak thanked Schmotzer, especially, for her scientific research, which she said shows that shared passes at Baldwin are covered in harmful bacteria.
"Disposable, one-time hall passes would be great as an alternative to these (shared passes), which are absolutely disgusting," Schmotzer said on April 4.
Though he's not convinced by Schmotzer's research, Korchnak nonetheless said that responding to students' concerns is important.
"We wanna be responsive and sensitive to the students," he said. "Yours truly is still not convinced of the scientific experiment; although, I appreciate it. I think the effort on the part of the students has to be rewarded to some extent, so we will change that.
"Those will be printed. There will be a slight cost, but I don't think the cost will outweigh the benefits to the students so they understand that we do listen to them."
Years ago, Baldwin employed paper agendas that each student carries around to act as his or her hall pass, but administration prefers using passes that are more clearly labeled so as to better track where students are at in the high school.
Korchnak said in a September board meeting that paper agendas do not offer immediate, visual confirmation for security guards, teachers and/or administrators as to whether or not a student is in the appropriate zone of a school building.
He said on Wednesday that the new, disposable passes will still be color-coded to prevent wandering by students.
"(That) prevents kids from going one-quarter of a mile to one end (of the building) and saying, 'Hey, I have a hall pass,'" Korchnak said in September. "(Students) end up on the other end of the building, and usually, that's for no good reason."
Toward the end of Wednesday's meeting, school board member Nancy Lee Crowder thanked Korchnak for granting Lippl and Schmotzer's request for disposable hall passes.
"Don't thank me," Korchnak said. "Thank the students. They made a good point."
A Patch reader poll on this subject resulted in a majority opinion in favor of disposable passes.
Check back with the Baldwin-Whitehall Patch later on Thursday for more odds and ends from Wednesday night's school board meeting.
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