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What You’re Missing in the Code of Conduct

Adam Aleksic, Editor in Chief

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We, the students, walk about our quotidian schedules, blissfully unaware of the multitude of regulations hanging over our heads like fifty-pound weights. We all think we know the rules, and we all try to abide by them. But do we actually know the rules? What student has entirely read the 48-page City School District Code of Conduct? Almost certainly none. So let us take a moment to explore the unseen, unknown laws governing our lives.

For students who think Albany High is tough on security, that’s nothing compared to what’s fair game according to the Code of Conduct. Apparently the principal reserves the right to “authorize daily metal-detector screenings [including] searches of a randomly selected segment of the entire student body attending a particular school” which may constitute reasonable suspicion to justify a more intrusive individualized search pursuant to this policy”. Furthermore, “lockers, desks and other school storage places may be subject to search at any time by school officials without prior notice to students and without their consent”. This means that not only could hall monitors wantonly search people at their leisure and access any locker whenever they want without reason, but these acts are fully supported by the City School District of Albany. So the security situation could be a lot worse, no matter what you think.

Every day, you violate dozens of rules, whether you want to or not. Technically speaking, if you are using a cell phone at any time during the day, the District affirms that “the device will be confiscated and returned to the student at the end of the class period or school day” on a first offense. So, even though about 90 percent of students use their phones during the day, it is justifiable for any faculty member to confiscate it, and after a second offense, “the device will only be returned to the parent.” In addition, every time you wear “hats or head coverings in the school building except for a medical or religious purpose” you are in violation of the rules. If you sneak into school without going through security, you can face detention. For those nefarious goofballs who walk into other people’s classes when there’s a substitute, you’re supposed to get detention. If you call someone a “nefarious goofball” or anything else with a pejorative ring you’re technically supposed to face “administrative intervention”.  These are offenses equivalent to jaywalking.

Accidentally bringing part of an unloaded BB gun to school is required to result in “expulsion for no less than one calendar year” from the school district- a hapless transgression that can ruin your life. And if you’re going to steal from the school (I advise you don’t) you receive less of a punishment if it’s $499 rather than $501.

Recording a fight on your phone can result in detention or suspension; even if you’re not a part. Bringing a flare to school results in mandatory calling of the police and a lengthy suspension. Obviously, these rules make sense and are useful, but some of the punishments and rules themselves may be viewed as extreme.

If you’re a student, the City School District also has a bunch of unenforced guidelines for you to follow. These are the kinds that would be laughed at by the best-behaved AHS student: “strive towards your highest level of achievement”, “challenge yourself”, and “listen while others are speaking to you” are all little moral tidbits that are advised. In this very same section, students are twice told they should “attend school regularly and on time”. 

Despite these interesting tidbits, it is advisable to still follow the Code of Conduct. The regulations are only designed, because, in the City School District’s own words, “the code, in conjunction with the district safety plan, contains standards and procedures that assure the security and safety of students and school personnel.” Knowing the Code of Conduct is the scholastic equivalent of knowing laws governing your life. It should be your civic duty to read them, but no one does until it’s too late. Try and not be that person.

 

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What You’re Missing in the Code of Conduct