Hayes rallies together to sort out disciplinary issues


Mikalah Kostalas

A backpack sits a classroom with a yellow hall pass on top of it. The yellow passes are one of many changes being instituted at Hayes to solve disciplinary issues.

Noah Sparkman, Editor-in-Chief

In the first school year with everyone back in the building since Covid-19 began, administrators at Hayes have noticed slight issues that need to be amended in terms of discipline.
One of the more prevalent examples of this adjustment came through the recent institution of yellow hall passes.
As school officials noticed an influx of students skipping classes in various places throughout the school, the passes were designed as an insurance that only one person could leave a class at one time.
“People seem to have gotten in the habit that they can do whatever they want,” choir director Dara Gillis said. “I just want to say ‘let’s remember we need to do this’ and go on with our day.”
By-and-large, it has been a group effort to get everyone back on track with feeling used to going to school five days a week.
“It has definitely taken everybody some time to get back into the swing of things,” school resource officer Joseph Kolp said. “When I talk to other districts, I hear the same thing. The start of this school year has just been hard for people.”
As the year has reached its halfway point, the general sentiment among staff and administration is that progress is being made, but there is still work to be done.
“It’s gonna take time, but I do see us making progress together,” principal Ric Stranges said.
When it comes to the specific steps taken to re-bridge the gap between staff and students, there seems to be little consensus, with many finding their own individual solutions to the issue.
One idea posed is the introduction of more structure into students’ days, especially following a year and a half in which there was little.
“I feel like we as a school this year have struggled to balance the mental health needs of our students,” Gillis said. “We all need structure, we all need rules.”

Nothing worth doing has ever been easy. It’ll be blood, sweat and tears, but in the end, it’ll be worth it because we did it together.”

— Ric Stranges

However, there do seem to be two common through lines. Many seem to be in agreement that everyone needs to come together in the efforts to restore the Hayes community.
“It is going to take some time to build trust again; some time to spend together, some time to listen to one another,” Stranges said. “I think that with time, and with mutual respect, we get that culture that we want back.”
This time is going to be spent in many different ways. Whether it comes through House, regular class time, sports, or a variety of other avenues, staff members say they are certain that being able to be acquainted with each other will refresh the togetherness that many feel existed before Covid.

Even though the culture rebuilding looks to be a long process, there is a lot of optimism for the future of Hayes.
“I talk to 32 other principals from the OCC, and they have the same problems as us,” Stranges said. “However, we are ahead of the game in terms of building relationships, and I think, or I hope, it comes from the way we treat people.”
In the end, it comes down to the people of Hayes working to reclaim the culture.
“Nothing worth doing has ever been easy,” Stranges said. “It’ll be blood, sweat and tears, but in the end, it’ll be worth it because we did it together.”