Hot Takes: New school rules


Siya Aparanji and Shruti Patankar

This month, Viking Logue is introducing a new format to communicate the opinions of our students. “Hot Takes” will be the home of organized student perspectives revolving around a local or global issue. Enjoy!

The second semester started exactly where the first ended in many regards. Classes resumed with the same rush, the weather remained painfully cold, and masks continued to be a daily reality… for some. Still, along with the new grading period, the administration introduced a variety of new restrictions and regulations on the student body – and boy, are we upset. 

The administration insists that these new rules are for greater efficiency and to streamline many of the initial COVID-19 related practices. Time will tell whether they live up to these standards, but for now, students have plenty of views on them. 

Isabella Chen – Option/Non-Option Hallways

When the second semester started in January, students were reminded that there were option and non-option hallways. During class time, we are not allowed to go in non-option hallways unless we have a pass. As a freshman, I find it quite confusing seeing whether a hallway is an option or non-option, and a digital map or list would be helpful. It can also be inconvenient for some students. However, it can ensure students are in their classrooms during class time and not wandering the halls, disturbing other students trying to learn. With some learning and self-discipline, I believe non-option and option hallways will be effective. 


Anna Ooka – What’s Up With the New Lunch Schedule?

From the beginning of the second semester, the freshmen and sophomores of Fremd have been liberated from their lunchtime VAMP and Advisory. Because of this, there is no need to split the cafeteria into two slots. With the number of students in each grade in mind, the freshmen were given the cafeteria and the sophomores were given the West Shelf to enjoy their lunch. The students who are not comfortable with taking off their masks due to family health reasons are properly given a larger space along with the long tables of the cafeteria and the tables in between the stairs next to the shelves. The changes to the seating are difficult to ignore because of the long lines to buy lunch at the beginning of periods, especially the concession stand. Because the juniors, seniors, and now sophomores who buy Fremd’s lunch get them from the concession stand, it takes quite a while until one can sit down and finally take a bite. It is also disheartening to see friends splitting up to meet the restrictions on how many people can sit at each table. However, the majority of students are enjoying the fact that they are able to spend the full hour stuffing their faces with food while spending time with their friends. Not to mention the liberating feeling of being free from the 20 extra minutes sitting in a quiet lecture hall with a lack of bathroom passes. The student supervisors are also preferring the changes to lunchtimes because of the efficiency of tracking the students who go in and out of the lunchrooms in an uncertain period of COVID cases at Fremd. Overall, the students have to get used to waiting a little longer to munch away at their food and hope that COVID seating restrictions ease off because the pros definitely outweigh the cons. 


Siya Aparanji – Scanning IDs

The dawn of a new semester brought with it a list of new rules and regulations enforced by the administration. One of these previously unheard guidelines is the mandatory scan-in procedure to go to places like the media center or the cafeteria. The premise of this addition is to avoid an influx of students ditching class to hang out in these social spots. While it is important to encourage students to regularly attend class, the administration is creating unnecessary obstacles for the rest of the student body. For students with shortened lunch periods, it’s a (small, but still) time hassle to endure the scan-in routine. To make matters worse, this new rule creates large amounts of traffic which consumes time, something high school students run short on. In addition, staff members must go through the procedure of utilizing previously untested software and unstable service – which have been inefficient in the past – on a regular schedule. Although the rule was created with good intentions, it is an unnecessary obstacle for students and staff alike. Besides, isn’t it time for students to take responsibility for their own education?


Siya Aparanji – Ten minute freeze

Do you need to use the bathroom – the place to relieve yourself of biological burdens? Well, you can’t. Unfortunately, your bodily functions weren’t timely aligned with Fremd’s bell schedule. The new implementation of the ten minute freeze is to avoid the overcrowding of the hallways before class lets out. One of the main reasons behind its consistent spot among teachers’ rejections of bathroom requests is that this ten minute period allows extra time for students who need it to get to class. Another common reason is that it stops students from leaving class early. However, is it really efficient? A couple of students using a bathroom don’t hinder students on crutches. In addition, if a student is adamant on ditching class, what’s stopping them from leaving eleven minutes before the bell? Once again, the ten minute freeze is an example of the slew of good natured rules with adverse effects. 


Kishan Teeka – Quarantine and School Rules

As I walked through the hallways of Fremd before the lawsuits and lifting of restrictions, my gaze was directed to the numbers of students wearing a mask below their nose as well as on their chin. The only change in these behaviors was when a teacher or hall monitor told them to put their mask up, which was then rendered obsolete as the teacher or hall monitor was out of the students’ sight. If I were to ask these students why they did what they did, I assume their answers would’ve been that they were vaccinated and therefore can’t get or spread COVID-19.

Along with changes to COVID-19 safety, there was new insight into the quarantine rules for teachers and students who get COVID-19. I understand that the school doesn’t want COVID to impede on students’ education. I still think that 5 days is not enough since there are people who can still carry COVID-19 germs after those five days and pass it to others when they don’t wear the masks correctly and are breathing in front of others. 

Even if the other person is wearing their mask correctly, this policy only works when both individuals are wearing their masks correctly. I have gotten both of my vaccine doses and my booster shot, and I wear my mask correctly, but I still have a chance of getting COVID-19. Personally, I would try to quarantine for at least 10 days because I am worried about spreading COVID-19 to others even if I am asymptomatic. I’m scared that a small cough could possibly affect those around me who I care about.

I think that the school is doing the most that they can to prevent the spread of COVID-19 but in the end, COVID is still there and there are ignorant people who refuse to consider the effects on others. This has changed drastically because of the new developments with Illinois policies for masks in school, which has led District 211 to completely remove the mask mandate in school. I don’t feel safe anymore in a school, where people aren’t giving any regard to others and are happy to not wear a mask in an already congested area like the hallways of our school. If you have been in contact with someone I think you should be required to wear a mask, but no, Illinois is not requiring anything until all lawsuits are resolved. Overall, I don’t feel safe and secure in a place where they preach this idea of safety and belonging, which has led me to think that maybe I don’t belong here. Maybe this school isn’t enforcing a positive and healthy environment for us students. Maybe I don’t want to belong in a school that doesn’t place importance on the wellness of the students.