The gradebook is a privilege


(Editor’s note: The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of The Smoke Signal or its staff.)

Hello Pascack Valley students. Many of you have read the recent Letter to the Editor discussing the Genesis petition and how it came to be. Many of you know the writer personally. I am here, distraught and in total confusion.

When students started showing grievance for the loss of the gradebook during school hours, I sympathized with them. It was understandable that students would be upset that something so valuable was taken away and never given back to them.

There was talk amongst the students about the petition. Some were upset. Some were angered. Some were indifferent. Some decided to sign the petition. Some sent mass emails to get people to sign a petition. The numbers left me gawking.

This head organizer claims to have different data compared to that of the administration, which I found confusing. The data of the administration was not being collected for contentness. It was being collected to prove a point. His data only expresses student opinion, something the administration never intended to collect.

Now we get into the pieces that left my jaw hanging open for hours. These students are planning a walkout if their “demands” are not met.

PV is being treated like a hostage situation and the innocent ones on the inside fear for their lives. What could these sophomores do during this walkout? Will there be riots? Anarchy? There is so much that the staff and upperclassmen do not know. The sophomore class holds so much power in their hands with this walkout.

Now I become even more confused. The head organizer states that walkout stands for so much more than just grades. “This is about rights of students,” the organizer wrote. He is so focused on the students’ voices being heard and the weight that their grades have on them, they clearly forgot to read the Student Handbook which lists their rights right in front of them.

Nowhere in the Student Handbook does it say that “grades will be shown to the students during the school year.” The gradebook is, in fact, a privilege. It is a privilege that we, the students, abused. We logged in too many times and caused it to be taken away.

This was an effort to see if the login amounts would decrease by only allowing the gradebook to be accessible at home. Guess what? The numbers went down. The simplicity of this result is nothing more than the students taking their privileges too far and getting mad when something they believe they are entitled to gets taken away.

I am beyond perplexed at how these students will achieve their goal if it is known that the gradebook is not a part of their rights. Walking into a school, some of your rights get taken away from you as a safety precaution towards other students. You would know this if you read the Student Handbook on the school website.

Imagine being in school years ago when the online gradebook was not yet created. A time when students did not have access to their grades. They did not get to see their grades until the end of each semester. Oh, the agony those students went through having their rights infringed and taken away. However, we have an alternative.

I do not know if some of you have done this before, but it is one of the most fabulous things I have done all school year. I checked my grades at home. The school day lasts for approximately seven hours. The other 14 hours of the day, the gradebook is open.

Signers and creators of the petition are upset because the time that was most convenient for them was taken away. They now live in fear that with the gradebook being taken away, other privileges like Twitter, Youtube, and possibly Gmail will be taken away. These privileges can be taken away quicker than your grade dropping. But no one would know if their grade dropped because they “cannot see their grades anymore.”

It is time to act now. It is time to read the Student Handbook. The administration must know that we are informed of our rights and our privileges. Maybe, the more informed we become, the higher our grades will raise. Then we can check them at home.

I am a student who is concerned for the future of our school. I am proud that a student aspires to voice their opinion and bring it to the leaders of our school. I appreciate how passionate about an issue, but I wish that these students knew the difference between rights and privileges.

If only these students who were as passionate about the gradebook shut down were as passionate about the hate symbols in our bathrooms.