Student freedoms


Meghan Oehlerking, Writer

You are a more free student than you think. Olympia High School’s rules are less strict and there are more student rights here compared to other schools in our country. At Olympia, students are allowed to voice their opinion how they please as long as nobody is harmed in doing so. However, in some schools, that is not allowed. Other students in other states have strict guidelines that are heavily enforced. Meanwhile, here at Olympia, students are allowed to start a walk out and put up posters of their opinion, they can start about any type of club they want without much retaliation from administrators.


It boils down to the little things as well, such as the no balloon policy in West Hills High School, located in Santee California. Here at Olympia, students will give their friends gifts and balloons on their birthday and other occasions, where West Hills students have no privilege to do so. There is also a dress code difference between these two schools. For example, pajamas are against West Hill’s dress code, while at Olympia some kids don’t wear anything but pajamas to school. The disciplinary actions for violating the West Hills dress code includes a fine for not returning borrowed school clothing. In the Olympia High School dress code, there is no mention of a fine for not returning borrowed clothing.


At Olympia, students do feel they have freedoms and are appreciative. “I would say from my experience and knowledge, students have lots of freedom to express themselves and the community is friendly and laid back. I feel safe here too,” says Sophomore Luke Davis. Davis isn’t the only one who feels OHS has a friendly environment, Sophomore Jamie McAlpin says, “I feel that it is definitely less strict than most schools. That the only thing that would be dress coded is just what people typically shouldn’t wear. I like that teachers can establish their own rules in their own classrooms too.” McAlpin mentioned that the typical school freedom doesn’t just apply to students, but teachers as well. It isn’t unusual for there to be different rules for different classrooms set by the teachers themselves. Sophomore Mikey Scafe recalls the difference between previous schools and OHS. “In the middle schools I went to, Brentwood Middle in Brentwood, Tennessee and Johnnie R. Carr in Montgomery, Alabama, No earrings bigger than a dime, no branded clothing, no purse bigger than a half sheet of paper, basically no opinion was allowed and you had to walk down the halls in lines and be silent. It wasn’t a religious school, but if you weren’t Christian, it seemed like you were looked down upon.”


There are some students who do appreciate the freedom, but think that students take advantage of it. One student, who remained anonymous, says, “I feel that too many people take advantage of the leniency. Kids don’t appreciate and they sometimes just leave school and claim religious reasons and other stuff.” The school’s evident leniency is something that can easily be taken advantage of. Compared to others in our country, our school provides considerably more student rights and opportunities for freedom of expression. Keep that in mind with the rare occasion of being dress coded.