Hat policy changes at MHS
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Beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, students will be allowed to wear hats, scarves and hoods at school.
Currently, students aren’t allowed to wear anything on their heads aside from therapeutic or religious headgear.
Jacob Eisenkramer, senior, started a petition in hopes of changing the hat policy.
“It seemed kind of like a nonsensical rule really,” Eisenkramer said.
Eisenkramer said his petition had a role in changing the hat policy as he was able to voice his opinion. In January, he was able to get 61 signatures with the petition only up for a week.“It was more of a legal and organized way to show that people supported the policy,” Eisenkramer said.
Throughout the whole process, Eisenkramer said many people were very supportive as some even used social media accounts to promote his petition.
“It spread like wildfire,” Eisenkramer said. “I found it on a few people’s snapchat stories and I didn’t even know who they were, which was kind of interesting.”
Principal Dr. Greg Mathison presented the School Board with the idea of changing the policy once he realized it was a concern.
“I had some conversations not only with students but with staff members and kids were just getting in trouble for something that doesn’t change their academic behavior because it’s a compliance issue,” Dr. Mathison said.
Dr. Mathison has also observed other schools who allow hats and claim the hats provide no distractions.
Many other high schools have changed their hat policy already, including Lafayette and Rockwood Summit. When Dr. Mathison visited these schools, he said a very minimal amount of people were actually wearing hats.
“It wasn’t a disruption to the class period and for the most part they said it allowed some students to have individuality” Dr. Mathison said.
However, if the teacher feels like it provides a distraction to their students or promotes academic dishonesty, he or she will be allowed to ask the student to remove their hat.
Although the new hat policy may present new ways for kids to pursue academic dishonesty, Dr. Mathison said it doesn’t present any safety issues to the students or the school.
“We just need to be cognizant of what students are doing,” Dr. Mathison said. “It’s not the hat or the hood that are making them do those things. It’s personal actions.”
Although the new hat policy doesn’t concern Kevin Schultz, language arts teacher, he will not allow his students to wear hats due to academic dishonesty.
“Whether it be me trying to keep my eyes on other students eyes during test or quizzes, I think it could make things more difficult especially when it comes to assessments,” Schultz said. “I prefer to make sure I can see my students eyes at all time to prove that they are paying attention.”
Schultz said that hats will provide a distraction to the kids as it will prevent them from paying attention in class. He fears that giving students permission to wear hats in class will essentially be giving them permission to not pay attention.
“My personal belief is to keep kids on goal and doing what they are suppose to be doing the entire hour,” Schultz said. “One of the ways to do that is to see their eyes so we know their intentions.”