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A Newly Enforced Policy at Tok School

At the Richard Fraser tournament, students were surprised to see a new policy was suddenly put in place. All minors 17 and under would not be allowed to watch the games without an adult there who was responsible for them. This was a shock for many of the high school students who were attending to cheer their friends on, as it wasn’t clear why the administration was enforcing this out of the blue.

When asked about this new policy and its contributing factors, Jeff Robinson, the athletic director of Tok School, stated, “It's primarily a safety concern; we want to make sure parents are present to help supervise their children. Principal Benedict also had to wait 45 minutes after everyone left for parents to pick their children up. I also had to fish a student out of a classroom on Tuesday’s game and multiple times out of the hallway, which created some safety concerns.”  

Principal Benedict, the principal of Tok School, said, “I had roughly 8 or 9 students left after the first home game and I had to wait 45 minutes for everyone to get picked up.” When asked if the school would be open to amending this policy so high schoolers wouldn't need an adult there she stated, “Not at this time.”

This new policy was quite a shock for a number of students and community members. 

Hannah Beeman, a Tok School alumni, stated, “I agree that elementary and middle school students should not be able to attend a game without a parent present. Parents and guardians are busy. They have work, they have other children to take care of. I don’t think that the administration has been very understanding of other people’s situations in creating this policy. I think at least 16+ would be a much more reasonable policy."

Autumn Jennings, a student who almost wasn’t allowed in at the Fraser tournament, said, “I don’t like the new rule at all because not everyone’s parents are able to come and people just want to see their friends play. The only reason I’m able to come to the games today is because Miss lovely Deb said she would be my game mom for the day.”

Tenyelle Gunter, a varsity basketball player, stated, “I think that this new rule is a bit obscured because high schoolers don't need someone watching over them at a school function. I must agree that it is understandable for elementary and middle schoolers to have an adult watch over them. But when students get into high school you would think and trust them enough to watch over themselves.”

High school students seem to be most upset about this new policy, as even a seventeen or sixteen-year-old can’t be dropped off at games, or drive themselves since a parent or guardian is required to attend. During Richard Fraser’s February 23rd and 24th games, there was a huge decrease in student attendees since most students are not able to have their adults take hours out of their day to sit at games. Most students understand this policy applying to elementary and middle school, but a large number of high school students are upset about this policy's sudden appearance. High school students believe that they can handle being dropped off at a game, but maybe they need to prove that they are responsible enough to earn the privilege. Ideas students can use to possibly earn the right to be dropped off at games are staying where they are supposed to, not participating in PDA, and ensuring participation to and from games is arranged. 

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