Sweeping Students Into Classrooms


Charles Burns

An official "hall sweep" pass issued to a student caught in the hallways after the bell rang.

Charles Burns & Autumn Hiller, Editors-in-Chief

At Charlottesville High School, there has been a recent initiative on behalf of the administration to crack down on students leaving their classes without a pass. This crackdown has come in the form of hallway sweeps after the late bell and an increased level of discipline towards those who are caught without a pass. Eric Irizarry, the principal of C.H.S., has attributed this crackdown to “input from students, from teachers, from counselors, [and] from staff.”

Some teachers have found this change to be beneficial. Matthew Rosello, a math teacher at C.H.S., said that, since the hallway sweeps started, a large number “of [students] are walking a lot [faster], with a purpose, to get to class,” with it “now seem[ing] like most [students] are getting to class when instruction starts.” 

While it is clear that administration sees these measures as necessary, the student body has had a more mixed response to the change. An anonymous senior said that, when caught without a pass, he “had to sit in a room and wait for a pass to be written, […] ma[king him] over ten minutes late instead of two.” Lynaisha Booker, a junior, said that she was caught without a pass and forced to spend time “in ISBI” as a result. 

There has also been concern among students that there is bias in who is and is not punished for walking in the hallways during class without a pass. 77.8% of respondents to a Knight-Time Review survey said that they believe there is a bias within the process. Parker Nelson, a senior, said that she has “seen people being stopped right in front of [her] by an administrator,” while those same administrators “let [her] pass without a second look.” An anonymous sophomore said that they have “heard accounts from others that male and racial minority students are more often stopped in the hallway to be checked for passes.”

It is clear that this new push for passes has created a divide between the staff and the students. Stacey Heltz, an assistant principal, said that the administration “will continue to do the sweeps periodically throughout the second semester.” While some students believe that the new crackdown is unnecessary, administration seems to firmly believe that these initiatives will sweep students out of the hallways and into the classroom.