Headphones: In one ear and in the other

Administrative staff changes headphone policy at HF…again

Lauryn Newton, Feature Writer

H-F is about to experience a major change regarding student life.


As of Tuesday, November 6, 2017, the headphone policy at Homewood-Flossmoor has been changed, allowing students to have their earbuds in during passing period in the hallways.


Before this change in the policy, the official headphone policy was as follows: Prior to entering a building all headphones and ear pieces must be removed from the ears.


Assistant Principal Lawrence Cook was the first to start noticing that the former headphone policy shouldn’t be necessary and that students should be given a choice.


“I never paid too much attention to the headphone policy before,” Cook said. “I thought it was sort of silly to give a student a detention for something that appears to be so natural.”


Cook has been pushing to make a change in this policy for two years. After he and Assistant Principal Jennifer Rudan visited a number of schools whose students could wear headphones in the hallway, he noticed that there was no problems and wearing headphones wasn’t disruptive in any way.


Cook expresses that he is now relieved that students have the choice whether or not they want to wear their earbuds. He’s only wanted students to be able to have that choice to make to benefit us.


“Educators believe that they need to develop those social skills. I think that they are going to get those social skills when they choose to get [them],” Cook said. “When I get on the airplane and I don’t wanna be bothered, I put on earbuds. But it’s my choice to make.”


The new policy was tried out during summer school and Cook noticed that the students handled themselves responsibly.


Before this policy was installed, students were only given the opportunity to listen to music in the lunchroom or when walking the path. This is very little time to have that peace of mind.


“​I think it is reasonable that students accept the responsibility of using ear buds in the hall.  ​It gives some students the opportunity to have a little relaxation between classes,” Anderson said.


Many students reveal that they thought the policy was unnecessary.


“I always thought the headphone policy was dumb because people were gonna wear them anyway and nobody was blasting their music in the hallways. It wasn’t necessary to me,” senior Brandon Tomlin said.


Another student expresses that the policy prior to the change was “too much.”


“How is sitting in a room not able to do anything except work on homework going to teach me a lesson about not wearing headphones?” senior Rhoda Gorbuscha said. “Every time I was written up a dean would try to connect the idea of not wearing headphones to something obscure and unrelated like driving on the right side of the road.”


One things that teachers and administrative staff are worried about is if kids will be responsible about this new rule and won’t take advantage of it.


“I look at my own kids at home and they have their headphones in all the time, but they can respond to me in a timely and appropriate matter,” Cook said.


One of the catches of this new rule is that students must have their must turned down to a level that they still can respond to staff members and will also know if there is an emergency in the building.


Cook and the rest of the staff here at H-F hope that students will be appreciate the change and follow the rules accordingly.