by Ashley MacDonald
Class of 2015
Every Braintree High School student looks forward to many keystone events throughout their experience as students here; for example, pep rally, ski trips, and Friday night football games are all part of tradition. But there is one tradition at this school that students wait anxiously until their very last year to earn: senior privileges. But are these “privileges” really a good enough reward to students for working hard for four years?
As it is now, senior privileges, or senior perks as some call it, allow students to arrive at school late when they have a study hall the first block of the day. This is exciting for seniors because they are finally being rewarded for effort they put into high school. All senior study halls are also held in the cafeteria, which gives students a chance to leave the classroom and have time with their friends.
But privileges at Braintree High School used to entail a lot more. While still being allowed to come in late when a study hall was the first block of their day, seniors were also allowed to leave school early when they had a study hall on the last block of their day.
For many seniors now, it does not seem fair that early dismissals are not allowed. Instead of sitting in the cafeteria (which is certainly a HUGE perk) at the end of the day, annoyed and twiddling their thumbs, seniors could make better use of their time if they were allowed to leave school fifty minutes early. Students with after school jobs could work more hours; those with younger siblings would have more time to drive across town and pick them up from the middle or elementary schools. Other towns have adopted this into their senior privileges: Hopkinton High School allows students to come in late, leave early, AND go outside of the school whenever a senior has a free block. Braintree High School needs to follow this model, and let seniors demonstrate the responsibility aspect of the PRIDE acronym.
Another problem is posed with the way current senior privileges are set up: students who do not have study halls the first block of the day are not rewarded in any other way. This is not fair at all. These students put just as much effort into their previous three years of high school as any other student, yet senior privileges does not cover them at all.
Other rewards need to be set into place to ensure that all seniors are accounted for in Braintree High School Policy. For example, a specific room should be set off for senior studies if students wish to go there; it would be a place away from the cafeteria to offer more quiet time for students actually trying to do work. Every senior would be able to visit this room, so senior privileges would extend to even those who do not have free blocks in the morning.
That being said, I believe that Braintree High School does have senior traditions and activities at the end of the year that include everyone equally. Senior week (where seniors have themed dress up days) are always fun and a great way for seniors to spend their last bits of time in high school together. The senior barbeque also shows the seniors how appreciated their hard work is (what better way to reward people than with food).
It is not that the school completely ignores antsy seniors who are ready to bust out of high school and experience college; with that being said, a lot more could be done. Senior year should be stress-free after the first two terms, because beyond that point most students have been accepted into college or have a good idea of where they want to go. It is the school’s responsibility to make sure that this is the case for all students. Instead of leaving Braintree High School feeling suffocated by rules and adults, students should feel like they are both respected and prepared for college-life awaiting them.
Ashley MacDonald is a student in Advanced Placement English Language and Composition