Let students go home when they have last period free

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Elliot Smythe ’24

Free periods are a blessing for Strake Jesuit students. They allow us to eat, relax, study, and rest. They afford great convenience and opportunities for students and faculty alike. However, we students are required to stay on campus even if we have a free period at the end of the academic day.

This policy should be reconsidered.

This free-period dead zone at the end of the school day can feel like wasted time because students are itching to get out of school and head home. Students are tired at the end of the day. Strake Jesuit trusts students to drive to and from school at normal times, so why shouldn’t we be trusted to leave early during a period 5 free period, when traffic is generally better at earlier times?

Additionally, allowing this freedom would mean fewer students on campus for for faculty and staff to watch over. Students at home are students who cannot cause trouble on campus.

And if there is a security issue, why not have students check out, so the school knows they are gone? This is a convenient way for students to have more freedom and comes with no worry about the safety of students or the liability of the school when students check out with the permission of administration, similar to having an excused absence in the middle of the day.

Is being let out early for a final free period is a waste of the student’s time, which could be spent studying? The average free period is often spent in leisure in the cafeteria or in the library. And if students truly need to study, or meet with a teacher, then they have the agency to make that decision. The best part of this suggestion is that it gives students agency. This policy would introduce student to a college schedule and lifestyle, and if students have the need, they are still welcome to make-up tests or continue to study when they have a free period.

With an early release during a free period at the end of the school day, the students would be less likely to waste time here or even get into trouble. Meanwhile, students who would leave early would remain on campus for the most vital times of the day, but they would not be forced to stay at school in the most frustrating way possible.