For the past month of the 2018 school year, the gym has been locked in the morning until first bell rings at 7:20 am, leaving athletes outside of their locker rooms until the school day begins.
Mr. Hughes was the one to propose the idea of the locker rooms being locked until first bell. When discussing the new change with EHHS principal Mr. DeNnuzzo, he said, “[Mr. Hughes] actually proposed it to me as a ‘let me run this by you.’ We have had some problems in the morning with a lot of kids in locker rooms and in the gym starting at like ten of seven when they get off the busses. There was concern about adult supervision, so he had this idea of locking the gym then opening it at the warning bell, so that is where it came from.” The administration is mainly concerned with students not being supervised by cameras or security at all times.
The EHHS girls soccer team is upset by this sudden change. They were not given a warning or a reason as to why they are no longer able to get into their locker room to get ready in the morning and leave their equipment there for the day. The majority of the soccer team now waits outside the gym, lugging their soccer bags, hoping that they will be able to get to class on time. Christina Fazzino, a junior on the team mentioned, “I hate having to go to class and get a pass because I know I will be late if I don’t get one. My whole team wants to come in, go in the locker room to put their stuff down and get ready for the day without being late!” Due to this change, they have to adjust to either asking other teachers to hold their equipment in their classrooms or facing the consequences of being late to class every morning.
Mr. DeNuzzo said he did not see a big difference in the attendance: “Personally I have not seen any increase in tardiness period one. That has been some of the concerns the kids have come to me with saying, ‘Mr. DeNuzzo I can’t get into the locker room until 7:20 and I need to get to period 1 on time.’ I have specifically tracked if there has been a high tardiness rate and there hasn’t been.”
The administration does not want students to be unsupervised in the mornings. Mr. DeNuzzo mentioned, “Our job is to make sure everyone is safe and, if I can’t guarantee safety because there are not enough adults to supervise an area, then that is kind of my responsibility.”
As of right now, DeNuzzo says the locker rooms are going to remain locked until further notice. He wanted to stress to all students that this is not a punishment, but an opportunity to prevent situations before they happen.