McNeil Owes Students Consistency with Rule Enforcement


Image by Carter Poore

The faculty now closes the gate near the senior lot to reroute traffic to the exit near the PAC.

This month, the school is stepping up its efforts to ensure that only seniors can leave campus for lunch. Faculty members now check student IDs at the doors near the cafeteria, and have begun rerouting all lunchtime traffic to the exit near the PAC, where they will have another point of ID verification. They have also started cracking down on students sitting in their vehicles in the school parking lot. Though these rules have all been in place since the beginning of the year, they were not widely enforced. 

While it’s well within the school’s rights to actually enforce their rules, their arbitrary enforcement is undermining students’ trust in the school and leaving them confused about the consequences.

The first sign of the administration upping its efforts to enforce student vehicle rules came in October, when dozens of juniors parked in the back lot were informed that they were not allowed to park there, through a slip of paper stuck in their windshield wipers. The warning had little information, other than a handwritten note with the reason: “sr parking only.” The whole ordeal, coupled with very little other communication, left many confused. Juniors complained that they didn’t know the parking lot was for seniors only, and many students were even unsure about whether or not they owed the school money. The situation was never resolved – ticketing has continued without any real announcement or necessary communication on consequences. 

Five months later, the sudden enforcement of rules about going off campus feels like a repeat of before. Going off campus during lunch has already been a mainstay for many juniors, as well as seniors, for the first seven months of the school year due to the lax enforcement of the rule. Now with the administration’s sudden change of heart, students are left feeling blindsided. Both of these shifts feel unfair. By not staying consistent with their messaging, the school is straining their relationship with students.

Next year, the school should seek to be consistent on rules and messaging starting as soon as students return from summer break. By informing students of what’s expected of them and being clear on what the consequences are for breaking the rules, the school can maintain an understanding with students from the beginning. This way they can attempt to build trust, instead of breaking it.