Juniors and Seniors deserve free periods

Students were recently informed that upperclassmen would not be allowed to have free class periods. Many students would benefit from the extra time free periods offer, and would surely use it appropriately and resourcefully. We believe that juniors and seniors should have the option to incorporate a free period into their schedules.

Many students on campus have obligations outside of school. They may need to hold a job to provide for themselves and their families. If we allow students free periods at the end of the day, they could leave school earlier and go to work earlier. This could apply to seniors who took advanced classes and already have their required credits. It would also allow students to make extra money.

Because students have lives outside of school, often times they cannot complete their homework. This applies especially to students who take rigorous AP classes and simply don’t have enough time in the day to do all the required coursework. If we allow students to have free periods, they’ll likely do homework during that time instead of staying up all night to do it. This will definitely help students have a restful sleep and decrease stress levels.

The staff is afraid that students will misuse the time if they are given free periods. The mass majority of students who want a free period would benefit from it; only a small portion of students might misuse it. When our school was opened, we were promised that the staff would focus on the 99 percent who do the right thing as opposed to the one percent who don’t. This rule— as well as many others put in place— recently is contradictory towards our school’s founding principles. The staff should focus on those who honestly need the time instead of those who do not.

A free period would only benefit students. It would allow them to have much needed extra time for inside and outside of school obligations. If the staff seriously fears the misuse of time, they could set up an application for a free period to see who needs the time and who doesn’t. That way, no students who would use the time incorrectly would be given a free period.