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Passing Period Controversy

The passing period at Tok School has gone from five minutes to three minutes from last year. This has caused a lot of different opinions in the student body. This change happened because students were still being late to class even though they had five-minute passing periods, so the teachers and staff wanted less time wasted. Many students have expressed hatred for this change, while others find it unfair because they were using the five-minute passing period responsibly. When asking staff, I found that the time change reduced the number of tardies which does give them more time to complete their classwork.

We have five passing periods a day, so with five-minute ones we spend twenty-five minutes a day just on passing periods and with three minutes we spend fifteen a day on them, which is a likely factor for the switch. Students have expressed wanting it to change so they have more time to get to class and use the restroom. When I asked around staff and students how they felt about the change these are some of the many responses I got:

Mr. Larrabee "I believe the five-minute passing period gives students more time to interact with their friends and use the restroom.”

Un-named staff “More class time more stuff done, and I’m going to be honest with you I have data that shows less people showing up late.”

Sarah Cramer “I feel hastened, like I can’t use the washroom without being late to class.”

Ms. Fifarek “I built the schedule with three minutes and the same amount of people who were late at three minutes were late at five minutes. I personally like three minutes.”

Kaitlyn Wilson “I honestly don’t mind them. I think three minutes is a good amount of time to get to class. Passing period is not a time to socialize!”

Claire “It's unfair for the people who were doing their work and using it properly.”

Autumn “It should be five minutes because I don't have enough time to use the restroom because it's filled with other people and three minutes is not enough.”

As you can tell there are many different opinions regarding the change. Earlier in the year there was a student who started a petition to switch it back. We won't know till next year what it is going to be but we do know people are going to want it changed no matter what it is based on these results.

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