With the start of a new school year comes inevitable change. The Boys’ Latin Upper School administration has come into the 175th year with changes to its student handbook. The handbook aims to make the Boys’ Latin Upper School a professional and healthy environment.
“I think that having more clear and streamlined expectations for you guys as students will be beneficial in the long run so that we can eliminate as much gray area as possible,” said Upper School History Teacher and Ninth Grade Dean Mr. McDonald.
One notable change in the 2018-2019 handbook is the school’s new policy regarding JUULs and other nicotine vaporizers. Over the past year, popularity for the discreet vapes has skyrocketed in schools all over the country. According to the National Youth Tobacco Survey, “11.7 percent of high school students and 3.3 percent of middle school students-over 2.1 million youth-were current e-cigarette users in 2017.”. Since vaping poses the risk of children becoming hooked on the addictive chemical nicotine, Boys’ Latin has declared a clear punishment for JUULs: “Any student caught using or found in the possession of such devices will be subject to immediate suspension or separation from the school.” (Handbook pg. 14).
Senior Walker Campbell believes it’s important to keep JUULing off-campus and is comfortable with the new policy “A school like this is really just isn’t a place for those kinds of things.” said Campbell. “I think the less we have to deal with this issue, the better our school community will be.”
Mr. McDonald agrees. “There’s nothing there that I think doesn’t make sense, or doesn’t have a valid reason behind it. I don’t take issue with [the new policies].“
Another change made to the handbook was the school’s restriction on the use of the Boys’ Latin logo and Geofilter on social media accounts. In the past, there were no policies regarding the BL emblem on social media, but this year the school has stated that there is to be no unpermitted use of the school’s logo or wordmark.
“Over the years, as social media has become more prevalent, guys have created accounts for clubs or for fan sections or for teams, and there’s a responsibility that we have as a school to be accountable for whatever is being put out there,” said Mr. Mitchell, Upper School Head. “That doesn’t go to say that those accounts can’t be created, there just needs to be some process in place.”
The school has also restricted the use of the BL emblem on any social media pages unless expressly allowed by the Director of Communications, Mrs. McLoughlin who oversees the BL social media pages. Boys’ Latin’s presence on social media represents the school as a whole, so the new policies make sure there is a standard for who has access to represent the school online.
“We still have the authority and the opportunity to tweak what we’re going to do and how we’re going to handle a situation, but it’s all in the best interest of creating the best environment for boys to be successful here,” said Mr. Mitchell
For more information on other changes made this school year, the full handbook can be viewed online here.