The Patriot Press

Hills Students React to Crackdown on Headphones

By Eunice G. Park and Shan Battal

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Public safety has been a front-page issue, particularly in our very own Wayne Public School district, in light of the recent Parkland shooting tragedy. Here at Hills, staff members have recently made a point to reinforce the rules and regulations concerning headphone and hat usage to students of all ages.

A couple days ago, Michael Rewick, our school’s principal, made an announcement to the student body during the school day that reminded all students (and teachers) that in such times of fear and skepticism, wearing unauthorized headphones/earphones is strictly prohibited and can now result in behavioral consequences.

Some students dubbed this announcement as “strict” or “passive-aggressive” and many instinctively reacted poorly and even outraged. claiming that students rely on their tunes to get them through the day. Senior Amad Alkatreb, self-claimed headphone advocate, claims, “I think it is a horrible thing… I think that taking earbuds away from kids does nothing and that if they really want to increase school security, [they should] invest in armed guards.”

Junior John McConeghy agrees with this statement, but offers a softer perspective, “I understand what they are saying about earbuds and that it is actually a safety concern,” he explains. “But sometimes, kids use music to just relax or to get away from the stress of school and should be allowed to have at least one earbud in.”

On the other hand, senior Arianna Chen shares a different perspective, “I understand why some students are taken aback by this crackdown; I love headphones too. Who doesn’t love music? But at the end of the day, you just have to be sensitive to what is happening in our world: seventeen innocent students just lost their lives and the school is just trying to ensure our safety. I think that not wearing headphones in the hallway and listening to Drake for an extra three minutes is a great trade-off for our lives.”

Despite the negative opinions that some students have towards this headphone crack-down, it is evermore important to try to understand why these rules are in place: for our safety. Mr. Rewick explains the need for these strict regulations, “Currently, district policy talks about how head devices and such are not allowed in school. And there really is no need for those items, as the district policy enforces. Reality is, when you’re wearing headphones in the hallways or classrooms, you are NOT connected to what’s going on in the school,” he explains passionately. “You’re essentially putting yourself at risk for anything. It is a safety issue; [you get] distracted because of the earphones. You want to create a place where people feel safe, and earphones do not help with that.”

“Students nor faculty should ever dismiss the severity and gravity of the coherent dangers that blocking hearing via earphones can cause,” adds robotics teacher Robert Yost. “[The school is] concerned about kids being safe in case there is an alarm or emergency, so at the end of the day, it’s all about the kids’ safety and making sure they [get to] school and back unharmed,” justifies Mr. Yost.

It is clear to see that Hills has been trying its best to make a safer and more trustworthy learning environment.

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Hills Students React to Crackdown on Headphones