By Tala Alfoqaha
As the customary 3 consecutive dings ordain the end of the school day, students flock to the new commons in droves, chatting amiably in groups aggregated around and between lunch tables. Laughter echoes off the sun-drenched windows and the relief of surviving yet another day of school is nearly palpable. Suddenly, the clock strikes three. And almost immediately, security guards and other badge-adorned school officials descend upon the commons, halting every conversation with their mere presence and commanding the attention of every pair of eyes of which they are visible to. Every student knows what’s coming. It happens every day: exile.
Okay, this account was obviously exaggerated but the reality of this issue is still ridiculous. For some reason, students are forbidden to “loiter” (read: catch up with their friends after a long day of school) in the commons after three. This arbitrary rule seems antithetical to every school’s desire to become place where students spend their free time in a healthy manner because, as health class teachers who work for the very school that expels students from a popular hang-out spot once drilled into our minds, free time turns to boredom and boredom, naturally, turns to drugs (or other harmful activities–you get the point). If the administration allows the commons to become a welcoming place for any and every student after school, school would become less of a dreaded institution and more of a second home–especially for students whose first home may be rife with problems. It’s time that our high school let go of this pointless rule and allowed students to stay after in the commons.