Palo Alto is a tight-knit community brimming with helicopter parents, intense academics and stressed students.
Many students feel as though they are regulated by the many authority figures around them. Since the start of school, students are experiencing regulation from a new source. Controversy has arisen with regards to school librarians and Academic Resource Center (ARC) supervisors checking the schedules of students to make sure they are not cutting class.
However, the right to check schedules should be allowed by any member of the Paly staff; checking students schedules should not be considered not an invasion of privacy.
“Schedule checking” has been going on since any one of us set foot on Paly campus, according to Librarian Deborah Henry.
It is important to recognize how much the Paly staff wants to help us. This goes hand in hand with the librarians, who want to uphold a pleasant environment in which we can study, learn and do homework.
By checking schedules, librarians, ARC supervisors and teachers can make sure that students are getting the most out of their education. In addition, it is important that Paly staff have record of any students cutting class for liability.
If a student were to get hurt during a time where the student should be in class, the school can get into legal trouble.
“The first thing I do is talk to the student because I want to find out why the student is choosing to miss class,” Paly librarian Rachel Kellerman said. “Because after all it is in the students best interests to be in class”
It is important to recognize the fact that in addition to all the stress, students may feel controlled by the Paly staff. Students are not lab rats and should not be treated as such. If they are guaranteed privacy in the real world then they should consequently be guaranteed privacy in an institution. Above all, a compromise should be settled between students and Paly staff. If there is probable cause for a schedule check, then the staff member checking the student’s schedule is not at fault. In this situation, probable cause would be granted if the student suspected of cutting class is not a regular attendant of a library in a certain period.
“I would never check a students schedule without probable cause” Kellerman said.
Henry is in the library for a good portion of the day and is aware of which students are in prep or not.
“We have a pretty good idea who’s supposed to be here and who’s not” said Henry.
However, staff should not be allowed to pull students aside without justification.
We must also take this moment to recognize how much the Paly staff does for the student body. Checking students’ schedules in the library and the ARC just to ensure that we are in class learning.
“Really we are just looking after the best interest of the students, and if the students are not in class, especially with the block schedule, they are really [missing out]” Kellerman said.
It displays how much the Paly staff wants us to learn and prosper. By checking schedules, the librarians and ARC supervisors are just trying to help us learn and maintain a positive learning environment.
If a student is supposed to be in class then it seems reasonable for the staff to make sure of that. We the students must realize that the librarians and ARC supervisors are not out to get us in trouble or whine at us for eating food in the library. They are there to help.