Hall sweeps strictly enforced

Anna Dueholm

Hall sweeps have been closely enforced in the last month in an effort to address problems with students being tardy for class and lingering in the hallways after the bell rings.  

As dictated by the policy, deans call any students in the halls after class begins into their office to record their names and give them a pass to be admitted to class. For the first offense, students are just given a warning. If students are caught in the halls a second time, their parents are called, and a third hall sweep results in a 45 minute detention. 

While the policy has been around for a while, it’s been newly invigorated. Pathways Coordinator Angelo Hernandez noted changes he’s seen throughout his time at Wilson that render hall sweeps necessary. 

“I’ve been here for a long time, so I’ve seen the culture change… we’re at a point where kids are just congregating in the hallway and lateness to class is out of control,” Hernandez said. 

The policy has faced resistance from students who feel that sweeps are merely keeping them from class longer. “I actually was coming out of the bathroom during transition period, and as soon as the bell rang I entered my class and an administrator saw me open the door and went into my class to hall sweep me,” senior Brenda Cruz said. “It took about 20 minutes out of class time.” 

Junior Emma Harris had a similar experience. “I think theoretically it could be a good idea because it gives kids an incentive to actually get to class on time. However, it can be ineffective sometimes because it can keep kids out of class longer than they would’ve been in the first place.” 

Science teacher Dani Moore thinks that some policy should be attempted. “As a school, we have an issue with tardiness…I think hall sweeps are imperfect, but they’re something we can do to send the message that it’s important to be in class.” 

In order to try to measure the policy’s success, administrators are collecting data to track the number of students in the halls each sweep. “The highest we’ve had was [around] 51 and that was in the first couple of days. Now, it fluctuates from 20 to 11; it really depends,” Hernandez noted.  

Hernandez and the administrative team have put together a scale to determine the consequences for each time a student is hall swept. The duration of detentions increases gradually from the third sweep until a ninth offense, when students are put in what’s known as an alternative learning environment, essentially completing coursework in a room alone to make up missed class time. If the behavior continues, deans meet with the student’s teachers and parents to try to gain a deeper understanding of any challenges the student may be facing.

As of now, the plan is to continue sweeps during each transition period on all even and odd days. “We’re just going to keep doing it so that the teachers don’t have to keep stopping and starting class when students walk in late,” Hernandez said. There are no plans as of yet to conduct sweeps on all-period days.