Buzz-in system leads to loss of freedoms


CPS didn’t want it.
Superintendent Peter Steipleman didn’t want it.
Dr. Jennifer Rukstad didn’t want it either.
But nonetheless. the new security system is here to stay. That much is clear. However, what is worrying about this change was the lack — absence — of any significant student input. For most students, the first time they heard of a ‘buzzer system’ was when the administration told them about it in the first day of school.
While this regrettable installation should in no way reflect on the actions of the CPS and RBHS administration — in fact, those involved should be commended for compromising to achieve the best possible outcome — CPS should change their decision-making process in order to connect the students with it.
RBHS has a history of student involvement with little to no assistance from teachers or administrators. In the 1990s, Student Coalition helped start a movement against class rank, which resulted in the current non-existence of that system. Outreach groups like Rock Bridge Reaches Out and Global Issues have touched thousands in the community and around the world. More recently in 2012, Students’ Say, a student-led group started by sophomores, lobbied the School Board to change the start times from the proposed 7:30 a.m. to our current 9 a.m. start time.
Looking back at the school’s history, it is needless to say that the students of RBHS have long been active in the decisions made by our district. However, we must not take this history of cooperation for granted. We must safeguard against abrupt and potentially harmful decisions that could be handed down in 10, 25 or even 100 years.
CPS or RBHS should make public all potential policy changes the moment they begin being discussed at any level. This common courtesy will help the district’s administrative actions gain greater transparency and help foster a greater trust between the students and the administration.
More importantly, student input should not be a helpful addition to high-level decisions, it should be a necessary one. CPS must choose a separate panel of students to serve as the voice of the student body at school board meetings and other high-level talks.
Future RBHS students and current juniors, sophomores and freshmen should make the district administration hear their voices and consider their input. After all, we are the students, and we are the affected group,so it only makes sense for CPS to take our voices into consideration in game-changing decisions.