Seniors deserve more benefits than they receive

Students should be rewarded for their years of hard work

Image obtained via creative commons

Image obtained via creative commons

Image obtained via creative commons

Anna Murphy, Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

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.”

Of a poll of 150 seniors from the class of 2017

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.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 Comment

One Response to “Seniors deserve more benefits than they receive”

  1. Benjamin Waite on December 18th, 2016 2:57 pm

    I hesitate so much to respond to this article. I wouldn’t be reading it if I weren’t looking for information about my class reunion (another year of no one seems to remember) and I find this…

    Senior parking lot? Five minute head start? OFF CAMPUS LUNCH?

    I’ve had my hands full dealing with the waves of life and I wonder what in the world has happened to my old high school. I don’t recognize my hometown anymore and I find this article.

    My freshman year ANYONE could hop a car to McDonald’s (maybe Taco Amigo or Holly Farms — nor sure anyone went to Gino’s) to get lunch, sometimes even bring back lunch. The previous year I think was the last year students could smoke in the courtyard — never smoked so no interest. I think the senior class had a representative in the office meetings, forget how often, once a month or something. Maybe I’m confusing the student government and senior privileges.

    Someone once managed to sneak a couple of small to midsize pigs into the main front door — forget what was going on — some smoke bombs and scrambling of feet and hooves. I had to get a book or something so I had a pass and saw from the guidance hall more than near the office — nearly harmless fun (think there was some minor clean up involved)… NOT part of senior activities…

    Again not really senior privileges, mainly I remember not be challenged in the halls, by ANYONE [teacher/student/narc]. I don’t remember a five minute early release, I remember FREE PARKING for EVERYONE, people in the Key Club might remember more, I remember the police were NOT regulars on campus, nor were security cameras… a very sorry state of affairs across the country. I also remember when merging a mail address database was a big deal too so take this with a grain or two of salt.

    I guess the point is senior privileges matter to seniors but in hindsight, maybe not that much unless they help you make an important appointment on time and make a favorable impression (ie. job or important date). The most important privilege to any student is to able to be left alone to be a free thinker.

    I am grateful that I could ask questions, challenge my teachers and office types, be dubious of some answers/facts I was being taught. Increasingly in recent days I worry for my own family keeping up with all the changes (smartphones/mac os/windows/AI) — also realizing that your class, anyone of you or even all of you could be dealing with 3d printed projects that my generation would think only NASA would be interested in let alone USING.

    John Glenn died in the past few days. Why are parking spaces at a high school of any interest to us now? Where are the Jetsons’ type of flying vehicle, or the flying jet pack that characters like James Bond have been known to use. Heaven forbid a Star Trek transporter comes on the scene, we are so unready for that kind of device. A significant portion of our national debt (all of us ought to be screaming about) is walking around near where we buckle our belts, but so much more difficult to reduce.

    My graduating class had about 350 students and I think we were an eclectic group fortunate enough to have TWO Valedictorians no less. I have no idea what benefit we’ve been to your class, maybe some parents of your classmates by now? When I was your age or thereabouts I was taught to expect to financially support seven senior citizens per each and every one of my age group. That was up from three I think from the Great Generation, maybe the Baby Boomers, never really made clear. Looking at our country now, I’m not sure we’re handling the responsibility very well. Part of it right now is the level of disrespect factions of our country show each other and I don’t mean Redskins/Cowboys rivalry.

    Some seniors and I think maybe a half dozen juniors were working off campus. I don’t think so much as a privilege but out of necessity for some.

    All of the privileges/pranks/fun my class had I think because we worked together sometimes when none of us wanted to or fully understood why the work was necessary, I don’t think we carried rivalries too far in any malicious way — just a we want to do well, we want to win spirit (Mclean and Langley were constantly teetering between first and second place), we were all under the threat of MADD of course so maybe that was a hidden inducement.

    I tend to babble, not sure where I picked that up from, Irish blood somewhere I imagine. Virtue Mine Honour — a year or two ago I came across a John Wayne clip about the Pledge of Allegiance and what does it mean to you type of PSA. I never was asked that question in school of either our school motto or the Pledge. I suggest each senior class consider the school motto, maybe a short essay contest, for a universal privilege for all students. I’d ask someone in the UK to judge the essays, someone who handles the royal heraldry in a serious capacity. One has to remember these words may have been the last expressed or thought of by some people who may have fighting in a war. Not a pleasant thought but remembrance is important.

    As an example, how many actual eyewitnesses were there to the assassination of President Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre? Most magazines of the 1920’s even to the 30’s would indicate many more than the theatre could hold. I know there were two that had a chance to see the event in it’s entirety — Laura Keene and William Jason Ferguson, on the stage in the opposite wing. Two vs hundreds — there is an excellent and funny movie with Gene Kelly and Patrick MacNee, Girls, Girls, Girls I think is the name of it. An older man walks with a sandwich board sign, “what is truth?” 😉

    Think for yourself!!! =)

    Sorry to yammer on so much — I worry about the state of affairs generally but really all I remember was running things on Field Day — that was the senior privilege I remember, just walking around on campus for the day with my friends and generally utterly ignoring the administrators in so much as no crime was occurring and we were on campus (could go off campus but I had no reason to much) and a bit of telling off the administrators in that they work for us, for our families, as tax payers and some of what the admins wanted were just crazy talk, maybe a bit of, hey we are YOUR future don’t over do the mistreatment. An attitude I hope your class adopts a healthy dose of — all of us grow older, not all of us survive it, or adjust to it.


    Ben Waite


If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Seniors deserve more benefits than they receive


    Put Subject Tests to rest

  • Seniors deserve more benefits than they receive


    Ryan Zimmerman visits McLean for Phones Down, Home Run press conference

  • Seniors deserve more benefits than they receive


    Art classes draw chalk animals for Earth Day

  • Seniors deserve more benefits than they receive


    McLean hires new head football coach

  • Seniors deserve more benefits than they receive


    NEHS announces “Love” writing contest winners

  • Seniors deserve more benefits than they receive


    A Hamilfan’s live experience

  • Seniors deserve more benefits than they receive


    Seniors: college decision tips for the indecisive student

  • Seniors deserve more benefits than they receive


    Hang Up and Drive comes to McLean

  • A&E

    How (AP) Lit were this year’s books?

  • Seniors deserve more benefits than they receive


    Going for the gold

Seniors deserve more benefits than they receive