The Challenge Of Returning Senior Privileges To Triton

There has been a push this year from seniors to return senior privileges. Privileges were taken away 10 years ago and many think that they're needed to

Rachel Miller
Triton’s Side lot which used to be exclusively for seniors.

Liam Murray

1/ 16/20

C period, Journalism

    Over the years at Triton we’ve seen many changes from our schedule to our library rules and even the addition of cameras… Everywhere. One of the changes brought about in the past 15 years has been the abolition of senior privileges. 

    Today at Triton seniors really have no privileges. There are no rules or policies made to really differentiate a senior from an underclassman. We have the same classes, get to school and leave at the same time, park in the same lot as teachers and underclassmen. However, this hasn’t always been the case.

    There was a time when senior privileges existed at Triton, when seniors were given certain rules and options that the underclassmen simply didn’t have. To learn more about the history of senior privilege at Triton I interviewed Triton’s principal’s secretary Ms. Theresea Karol. Ms. Karol is not only a prominent staff member here at Triton but is actually a Triton Alumna. Ms. Karol was a member of the graduating class of 2006, which was the last class that really partook in senior privileges. Among the many policies they were awarded were things like a senior study hall, the ability to leave school a certain amount of times, senior parking and even the ability to leave and get lunch wherever they chose. Study hall was a completely different world for seniors in 2006. If you had first or last period study you weren’t required to even show up. If you did go to your study, however, you were allowed to spend it in either the cafeteria or if it was a nice day in the courtyard with the animals from the ark program. Seniors could be out in the courtyard doing their homework with pepper the monkey, one of the many animals in the arch program while freshman and Sophomores were kept in the library for a quiet study. 

     Recently at Triton parking and parking fees have been a real hot button issue, the student body and even some members of the schools committee have been pushing for lowered costs. Back in 2006 seniors paid nothing. Seniors were given the entire side lot and nobody else was allowed to park there. If they wanted to park elsewhere, they got to pick over underclassmen but nobody wanted to park in back lot because they only opened the main doors out front. As well as getting premier parking seniors were allowed to drive themselves to prom and leave school up to 25 times in the year using their agenda book as a “passport” to do so. Unfortunately however Ms. Karol’s class was the last to have these privileges. “For prom we were allowed to drive ourselves, busses started our senior year actually because of our junior year when we were allowed to drive there. But when we were allowed to drive there it brought down the cost of prom a lot because we didn’t have to pay for a bus,” said Ms. Karol when asked about some of her favorite rules they had.

     Hearing about some of the privileges students had in 2006 it may sound like a completely different environment for seniors, and it may make you wonder what happened? Apparently after the privilege of being able to leave campus 25 times and go to get lunch were taken away the rest of senior privileges simply went with them. The rule allowing seniors to leave was taken away after the creation of rules like “In loco parentis” which is Latin for in place of a parent. This rule entitles  teachers to the same level of responsibility over students as a non biological parent. It may sound crazy but it really just means from you leaving your house in the morning to getting back home after school, your teachers are technically liable for your wellbeing. This rule is the exact reason why students need to be dismissed by their parents/Guardians and seniors can’t go to get lunch teachers don’t want to be responsible for us getting in a car crash. However there’s one thing that really doesn’t make sense about why this policy prevents us from leaving. How does the time of day we leave affect our probability to get in a car crash. I’d say if anything leaving before 2:13 would lessen the possibility of a crash and slightly relieve the chaotic traffic that occurs after last bell. 

     If senior privileges where returned they could also be limited and or incentivized to the staff and faculties advantage. Seniors who misbehave or get in trouble could be deprived of their privileges. Additionally seniors who consistently make the honor roll and or high honors could receive more privileges for being good students. Lastly seniors leaving don’t necessarily have to go home, they should be provided with options like internships and volunteer positions to leave school to go to. Plenty of Tritonians are required to do a certain amount of community service hours and are always looking for a place to help whether it’s the pet and gill foundation a dog shelter or nursing home. An internship could provide students an insight into the working world, it’s the perfect time to look around for good companies to intern/ work with.