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So, high school is starting soon back at my alma mater, and I’m friends with a couple of my teachers on facebook. One of them posted this message as a status today:

Alumni & any visitors: If you are going to visit me or another teacher during school hours, you need to let me or that teacher know like a week ahead of time. We were given rules from the administration that they will not allow any visitors to the campus without 2 days prior notification from the teacher.

You will not be able to sneak inside a classroom anymore since we are asked to lock our doors and anyone outside will be dealt as truants. Please do not take this lightly. Its for security reasons. Also, no students from other schools (unless authorized) are allowed to enter the school.

Seriously? First of all, there’s no air conditioning in most of the buildings at my school, and it can reach over 45 degrees in those hot, stuffy classrooms. Asking the teachers to shut and lock the doors is going to make the heat more intolerable. I’m sure the geniuses who thought this up wouldn’t think twice about this policy if their air conditioned offices came anywhere near the temperatures the classrooms do with closed doors.

Secondly, this is a ridiculous use of the time of the security guards. My high school was very relaxed when I was a student there, and we could walk around the campus to deliver messages, use the bathroom, visit a teacher, anything we wanted with the permission of the teacher. Alumni could as well and we frequently got pleasant surprises from old favourite students of the teachers, and I myself visited my old favourite teachers a few times in the last few years. There is no reason to treat these visitors like criminals, or presume suspicious activity of people who just want to visit their old high school. It’s a good thing I know the head security guards there and I am on good terms with them, or I would never visit my school again. Of course, they may have been replaced…

Hopefully, this won’t be reinforced, and will be ridiculed for exactly what it is: A ridiculous overreach of power that comes from the minds of those who don’t trust the teachers and students and feel like they need to force arbitrary rules on them in order to garner respect from them. Teachers and principals and administrators can get the respect of students by treating them as mature, responsible young adults who can handle themselves. They will not respond positively to being humiliated for being late or going out of class to use the bathroom. Similarly, teachers will not respect administrators who think that locking them in a hot box of a classroom is the best way for them to teach.

I should add that this comes at a time when the school has a new principal. One whom I am told, made one of my favourite teachers cry. I smell a rat.