If it Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix it

Wes Porter, Reporter


“You’ve been late three times…you’ll have a detention.”

“Don’t even think about going out that door that goes outside!”

Change for the sake of change is not a good thing. Since my freshman year, sweeping alterations have taken Hereford High School by storm.

In ninth grade we still had a block schedule, entailing four classes a semester, and students were free to carry their backpacks and go outside between classes.

More recently, every door into the building is always locked, students will get afterschool detention for carrying backpacks, and Baltimore County decided that block schedules were unfit for schools.

My sophomore and junior year, everyone adjusted to said changes and it was business as usual. This year, however, change has ravaged Hereford—and not in a positive way.

It began with a BCPS-mandated modification to the grading policy. Homework no longer counted for a grade. Only tests and quizzes counted, and all quizzes could be retaken. Teachers and students alike were confused and upset.

Teachers had to entirely redesign their lessons, and students could ignore the material and redo quizzes when they failed. When the policy proved ineffective, it gradually changed back to the way it was—except now no one does homework.

My least favorite change has been penalizing lateness.

Throughout the entirety of high school, I came in late about once every other week when I needed some extra sleep after long hours of homework and sports had taken their toll.

Midway through the second quarter this year, however, I was told my parents’ notes excusing my lateness were no longer valid, and that I could essentially never be late again because they did not reset every quarter. Every time being late after this I would receive an hour of detention.

Enrichment, an hour allotted each day to make up work and each lunch, is being robbed from students. Instead of tutoring, going to clubs, making up work, or hanging out with friends, students now get to sit in a room in silence and do nothing when late in the morning.

Hereford High School is an incredible place. The student and faculty make up some of my best friends and closest advisors, and I wouldn’t want to have gone to school anywhere else.

But people who graduated in years past would have an enormous amount of difficulty recognizing the school today, and the Class of 2017 will be the final class that can remember Hereford for what it once was, as the trust once present in students of Hereford High School is all but nonexistent today.

Administrators should stop fostering the power struggle between students and administration. We all have the same common goal—an education. I understand that Hereford students are held to a higher standard than other schools—as they should be—but penalizing students for the sake of penalizing students is not an advisable method of discipline. If no one questions the effectiveness of such policies—where will it end?