At the start of this year, the three middle school administrators introduced a new Code of Conduct to the student body. Students were then asked to go over the new guidelines at home, sign it, and have their parents sign it. A couple of days after the assembly, there was some talk of a few parents who were hesitant to sign the Code of Conduct. It wasn’t only these parents who were concerned; many of the students were very unhappy. When the Code of Conduct was first put into place, I was like most of my peers and thought it was too strict, but now I feel that it is actually quite helpful for students teachers, and parents.
According to Middle School Principal Mr. Peter Lutkoski, the main reason this Code of Conduct was created was so that parents and students had a clearer understanding of the school’s behavioral expectations. “The key goal is for us to be as clear as possible with students and families about both what our expectations are for student behavior and also the ways that we follow up with many times that a rule has been broken.”
Mr. Lutkoski explained that one of the things that was not clear enough to students and families in the old Student Handbook was the way E-cigarettes were dealt with at ASL. Even though there is a new Code of Conduct document, Mr. Lutkoski said that the Middle School’s expectations had not changed. What is in the new Code of Conduct has been a part of ASL’s community expectations for a long time. Finally, he said that after meeting with some of the parents he was able to ease their concerns, as there were not many.
Although many middle school students were quite worried after the announcement at the assembly, all the drama blew over within less than a week. Once everybody realized the Code of Conduct was actually the same rules, just made less ambiguous so there were no misunderstandings, there wasn’t a problem anymore. There are still some students who are frustrated with the rules, but these were students who were never happy with the rules in the first place, as they feel they should have more freedom.
Since talking with Mr. Lutkoski, my opinion has changed. Now that I fully understand the reasons behind the school’s decision, I appreciate that it is a good addition to ASL and its community.