Admin says locked door policy leads to fewer tardies

Gia Blanks, Reporter

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A new policy at Bellevue West has been met with different reactions from teachers and students. When the bell rings, teachers are instructed to lock their doors, according to principal Kevin Rohlfs.

“The locked door policy at this point is just when we start class, we ask that teachers just to lock their doors,” Rohlfs said. “If students come late the students closest to the door let them in.”

The locked door policy was introduced to Rohlfs at a leadership retreat with the department chairs over the summer. Students heard about it on their first day back.

While some teachers and students seem to have differing opinions on the subject, math teacher David Butler was glad to learn about the new idea. 

“We had a horrible tardy problem,” Butler said. “I think this has done a lot to bring that down.”

According to Rohlfs, the tardy rates are down and the hallways are much clearer. But even though some teachers think this has done a lot for the tardy rates, senior T.J. Griffin thinks locking doors was not the best decision. 

“I think it’s pointless and it doesn’t make any sense,” Griffin said. “They could easily just shut the door. They don’t have to lock it because then the teachers have to stop what they are doing to let in a kid.” 

Spanish teacher Machaella Fogarty was not on board with this philosophy, but soon grew to like and accept it.

“At first I thought it was going to be awkward to shut and lock the door on my students,” Fogarty said. “Now, as a teacher, personally it has helped cut down on tardies.” 

Some students, like sophomore Annabelle Netherton who’s been locked out of classes, understand why this might be helpful, but also damaging, since this goes on her attendance record.

“I’m almost always late because I have to take care of my younger siblings,” Netherton said. “For some people it’s worse.”

But Butler said he believes that the locked door philosophy is a step in the right direction. 

“It does help with tardy and safety issues,” Butler said.

Netherton has observed fewer people in the halls after class. And although Netherton said she thinks the philosophy is fine the way it is, Griffin said he believes a few alterations would help.

“Just shut the door because you will hear the kids walk in,” said Griffin. “I would email parents at three tardies because nobody wants their parents called over dumb things because it just causes problems.”

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