NSS tries new hall passes in attempt to curb vandalism

The pilot project was taken on after a spate of vandalism earlier in the school year.

For the first two weeks of 2016, Nakusp Secondary School (NSS) has been involved in a sort of pilot project.

The school has been under a two week trial for the use of hall passes in an attempt to minimize events of vandalism that havebeen taking place.

A spate of vandalism occurred in the school during the autumn term, mainly in the washrooms, and resulted in eitherdestruction or damage of school property.

“We’ve had toilet partition doors broken off, we’ve had toilet paper streamers through the bathrooms, we’ve had rolls thrownin the toilets, full rolls,” said Art Olson, manager of operations for School District 10. “We had two paper towel dispensers,one’s been ripped off, and one’s had a hole punched in it, and soap pooled all over the counter tops.”

Instructors at NSS spoke to students about the events, but nothing really seemed to help.

“We met with students, we talked to them about respect and responsibility, we asked them to report any damage immediately,but those measures did not stop the vandalism,” said Natasha Miles, principal of NSS. “I also reported vandalism to the ParentAdvisory Council (PAC), and let them know what we were doing as well.”

In an attempt to curb the vandalism, hall passes are being handed out.

The way the passes work is if a student needs to leave the classroom, they ask their teacher for a hall pass. Once the pass isgiven, the student carries the pass with them until they come back to class, and hand it back to the teacher. This way, thereare no unauthorized students outside of the classrooms, which makes it easier to pinpoint who was where if anothervandalism attempt happens.

“What we have seen is less hallway traffic in this time, and there haven’t been any incidents of vandalism, therefore the hallpasses will be reviewed next week.” said Miles.

Olson is glad to see the school is doing something to try and resolve the situation.

“I’m not sure what the next step is for them to do,” he said. “It’s out of my department, but if the vandalism can be picked onwho it is, we can actually send the bill to the parents for the damage, or whatever work is required.”

He also notes a change in how things are done today, as compared to when he was in school.

“If this was going on, and the school put pressure on the students, and they take the funding out of the soccer program (forthe bill), somebody usually squeaks, and they give up a name, and from there we can asses it.”

Some students have been vocal in their dislike of the passes, and while Miles sympathizes with them, something had to bedone.

“We would much prefer our students to treat the school with respect and care, rather than have to resort to these measures,”she said. “Our school was built in 1957, and our district’s custodial team work really hard in the evenings to make it look asgood as good as new.

The results of the hall passes are being reviewed, and the school will determine where to go from here and whether or not theuse of the passes will continue.


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