Let’s Pass on Hall Passes

Hall Passes in theory are practical, however, once the bacteria they carry is factored in, it's another story.

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Let’s Pass on Hall Passes

Sarah Rosenthal, Reporter

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At Scappoose High School, some teachers enforce the policy of having a hall pass. Whether it be a fish, a chunk of a sponge, or some other random toy on a string, each teacher has a personal preference as to what they will send students dragging into the bathroom.

While some are saying that hall passes are necessary to keep track of students, others see hall passes as quite elementary and unsanitary.

Touching an object that hundreds of hands are forced to carry into the bathroom can quickly accumulate germs. In the restroom, the pass is either placed on the ground, in the stall, or on top of the sink; creating the opportunity for many germs and fecal bacteria to accumulate on the pass.

As unbelievable as it may sound, some high school students do not wash their hands after using the restroom (or at all.) Their lack of washing and communal use of a bathroom pass can lead to the spread of illness. According to the NHS, (National Health Service), a cold virus can last on a hard surface for up to seven days; a flu virus can last 24 hours, and a stomach bug such as E. Coli or Salmonella can last from one to four hours outside of the body.

High Schoolers are expected to prepare for their future; complete homework; and balance school with extracurricular and jobs. Yet, it is seen as beyond their ability to go to the bathroom and return in a timely manner.

Rather than asking students to carry germ factories, teachers should have students place the bathroom pass on their desk when leaving for the bathroom; so at a glance, they know if someone is missing and where they are.

Hall passes should be something of the past, considering they collect bacteria, are an inadequate method of keeping track of the students, and they discount the accountability of many students who are capable of taking care of their business.