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San Marcos High School ~ Santa Barbara, CA

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Locked Up and Locked In

Evelina Erickson
A display of the school wide expectations is available in each classroom.

“Phone hotels,” two words that have long haunted the thoughts of the average SMHS student, never truly believing that the time would come when these cubbies would manifest into daily life. “Phone hotels,” along with two other implementations, have been reintroduced and reinforced for the betterment of student life and learning.

“Phone Hotels”

As you may have noticed on the first day of this second semester, a tarp strewn with phone shaped pockets now hangs on the wall or door of each and every one of your classes. The idea and function of these are very straight forward: you are to leave your phone in a designated pocket until class is over. 

“I don’t like them because it feels as though they don’t trust us,” said sophomore Kit Petersen.

Should a student disobey these instructions enough, it will eventually result in a phone call being made to the administrator and/or parents so that lunchtime reflection can be assigned.


Hall Passes

These are also very simple: you need one to leave class. Hall passes have existed since before this school year, which has caused many students to express their confusion as to why they are suddenly being brought back in force. In the past, hall passes were not universal and known to every class which has caused an increase in absences and students mingling around in the hallways for the sake of needing a break. To respond to this, the school is stating that it is still alright to have a break and go on a walk every now and then, you just need a pass from now on.


Foul Language

SMHS faculty has reportedly heard a spike in not only bad language, but a use of racist and offensive slurs. Continuous use of such language will result in a call to an administrator.


Why now?

So why are these expectations being reinforced to school all of a sudden? Phone hotels are debatable, but the other two seemed to have already existed in school so much that they could be considered foundational principles of not just SMHS but for the whole school district. It has been expressed by Principle Holdren that a recent increase in students walking around the halls has led to “nefarious activities.” 

“The harm is there, I just don’t think that students necessarily see that or have experienced that and I think it’s more about [preserving] education than it is about identifying who’s racist,” said Principle Holdren in response to how the school is handling racist language used by students. 

While other schools in the district have not expressed plans of implementing similar tactics, these schoolwide expectations will remain in use until further notice.

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About the Contributors
Roman Trovato, A&E Editor
Roman Trovato is in 12th grade at San Marcos High School and an alumni of the School of the New York Times. He is excited to begin writing for his second year in journalism as the A&E editor. His hobbies include reading, listening to music, running away from his problems, hanging out with friends, and playing video games. He is very excited to broaden his knowledge of journalism and to continue writing an assortment of nonsense!
Evelina Erickson, Editor-in-Chief
Evelina Erickson is a senior at San Marcos High School. It is currently her fourth year with the King’s Page. For the past two years she has been the news editor and feature editor. This year she is excited to be one of the Editor-in-Chief and the news editor. Evelina enjoys writing about all topics but especially would like to move or inspire the people who read her articles. She is also a part of the Entrepreneurship Academy on campus. When she is not writing, she enjoys reading, arts and crafts, logic puzzles, playing golf, and hanging out with friends.
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