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The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

SmartPass isn’t worth the allotted time

Helen Nang

The latest controversy at Wando has undoubtedly been the implementation of the SmartPass. It has garnered a largely negative reputation from students through limiting the amount of times they can use the restroom and how long they’re supposed to be there. Additionally, it is a system that the school has to pay for, using money that could be used somewhere else. Its job is to prevent students from congregating in the hallways during class time, which appears to be successful. This begs the question, is Smart Pass more trouble than it’s worth?

SmartPass’s most controversial feature is its timer.   The app times students while they go wherever they need to, most prevalently, the bathroom. Timing the trip and usage of the bathroom is a problem for many students, and they don’t particularly enjoy it either. More specifically, the fact that there’s a limit on how much time a student is allo- cated to go to the restroom (1-10 minutes) penalizes students who are going through emergencies and need more time.

An important clarification to this, however, is that administrators will not go out to find students who are taking too long on their passes. Rather the pass system is used to track this information if a student is repetitively leaving class on these passes for extensive amounts of time.

Closely following the timer, the other major feature, the pass limit, is also a hotly debated topic. Its intent is to give students one pass for each block of the day, and reduce the amount of times students leave class since they have class change and lunch to use the restroom as well. However, there’s an argument to be made that as long as students have their teacher’s permission, they should be allowed to go wherever they need to.

Smart Pass does have a couple up sides though, as it has resolved the issue of students congregating in the hallways during class time. Not only that, but it helps streamline the process of leaving class and it does take some stress off of teachers, as it is no longer their responsibility to log student leave.

There are still some kinks in the system, as the SmartPass app is not available on Android (students can access it on Chromebooks)—thus making its usage a hassle for a considerable portion of students who don’t have Apple iPhones.

It’s important to remember that the school could get a similar outcome if they used the analog system, where students sign in and out when they come back and leave. Not only does it not limit the number of passes, but it also lets students use the restroom as much as they need to. The potential issue is that the data is tracked at a class-by-class basis, not universally, and that pass limits wouldn’t exist outside of teacher discretion.

This would result in more congregation, which could be managed by student concern specialists, but also more student freedom and less restroom regulation for the average student.

And so, yet again, the question of whether SmartPass is more trouble than it’s worth repeats itself. This time in a more literal sense, as the money the school pays for it could very easily be used to benefit clubs, organizations, or sports teams that may need it. Unless the SmartPass improves from simply being a marginal upgrade from a paper sign out sheet, it isn’t worth the money, the inconvenience, and the issues it creates.

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  • J

    jernaeMar 14, 2024 at 10:34 AM

    i think Smart Pass should be banned it is used less