Seniors deserve more benefits than they receive
Students should be rewarded for their years of hard work
November 22, 2016
Filed under Opinions
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Upon entering their fourth year of high school, seniors should be entitled to certain privileges. They have worked hard in and out of the classroom for the past four years and deserve to be rewarded for their efforts.
However, seniors have been receiving fewer and fewer privileges each year. A few years ago, seniors had several benefits that included Harvest Fest, an event in the fall where seniors were able to enjoy moon bounces and cotton candy.
This year, however, the senior privileges are severely limited. They include a five-minute early dismissal on Fridays and two designated parking spaces for “Senior of the Week.”
These few privileges are, in themselves, limited by a lack of implementation. Although the privilege may exist on paper, the administration has failed to provide transparency about the changes it has made to the policies. One such problem has arisen because students who are dismissed five minutes early on Fridays are not actually allowed to leave school grounds.
“Teachers don’t even do anything in the last five minutes of class. Basically, seniors just get a head start to their car,” senior Emily Kong said. “It isn’t really a privilege.”
Seniors this year have not behaved any differently than past seniors. They have attended school, balanced the workload between classes and college applications and taken on leadership roles in both clubs and sports teams. The senior class deserves compensation for everything they have contributed to the McLean community.
Furthermore, most of the senior class will turn eighteen within the next year. That designates them as legal adults, which gives them a large amount of responsibility. They are given the opportunity to drive a car, enlist in the army and vote for president; however, they are not entitled to their own parking lot or given the chance to eat lunch off campus. It is unfair that students have such a wide range of responsibilities outside of school and close to none within it.
“It’s difficult when you are preparing seniors to go on to higher education or a job and the only benefit they receive is five minutes on a Friday. It seems like kind of a farce,” Principal Ellen Reilly said.
Likewise, senior privileges don’t only benefit seniors. Freshmen, sophomores and juniors can spend their years looking forward to being a senior because it brings along certain advantages. Yet, if the only privilege they receive is a five-minute early release or the possibility that one could get a parking spot for a week in the coveted “senior spot,” then there is not much to look forward to.
“As an underclassman, I looked forward to the benefits that came with being a senior,” Kong said. “If they added things such as a ‘seniors only’ parking lot, students would be more excited for the upcoming years.”
However, some argue that senior privileges have been taken away because certain students have abused the opportunities. Instead of stripping privileges for the all the seniors, privileges should only have been taken away from students who engaged in such behavior.
Although the school is responsible for anything that might happen if students were able to leave for lunch, this can be resolved by allowing seniors to leave just once a week instead of every day, which would generate support from parents and minimize the chance of anything dangerous happening.
Ultimately, the creation and enforcement of substantive senior privileges will bring about a more unified, happier senior class and student body.