Is Senior Privilege Fair?

Is Senior Privilege Fair?

Ava Broglino and Anna Cotter, Writer

As the 2022-2023 school year rolls on, the class of 2023 will be making the most of their senior year in high school at Ipswich High. During the fall months, seniors attend school and keep up with their grades in an attempt to qualify for senior privilege: the right to leave campus during off academic periods.  Once the first quarter ends, seniors will be able to apply to see if they are eligible. 


That time has already passed, and only around half of the seniors have been approved for senior privilege. As most of the students here know, there are requirements that have to be met for seniors to be approved. Those requirements include not having a grade lower than a C- in any of your classes, not having over 5 tardies, not having any detentions in the last 45 days, not having any suspensions in the past 45 days of school, and being a full time member of the senior class. If a student cannot keep up with any of these, their senior privilege will be revoked at any time. 


When asked, IHS senior Maddie Baker was willing to share her thoughts/opinions on senior privilege. “ I feel it’s something that allows seniors to have some sort of freedom and independence.” She also believes that “In a way senior privilege is fair, as those who work harder and show up to school on time and go to their classes deserve a reward.” Maddie also brought up another interesting aspect of the eligibility standards. She said, “I would though take into account learning disabilities (when determining eligibility), which isn’t a lack of trying in school but something that can’t be controlled.”                               


We also asked Jeremy Lathrop, another IHS senior who uses his senior privilege every R block, his thoughts on the topic. “The best part of senior privilege is that I don’t live far from the school so I can go home quickly, eat and relax whenever R block allows.” We also asked him if there was a downside to having senior privilege, knowing that losing r block can cost study/homework time and can be expensive if a restaurant/coffee shop is visited. A popular place that seniors tend to go is Zumis to buy coffee or food. Jeremy implied, “I tend to get my work done at home better than in R block; I can work at my dinner table in a silent house rather than having the distractions of students in R block. I can eat from home so I don’t actually spend any more money.” 


The last person we interviewed was IHS senior student Jordan Townsend, who doesn’t have senior privilege, her thoughts and feelings. She feels that it doesn’t motivate her to get senior privilege; she feels more pressured to get it. “Everyone has it and if you can’t leave everyone will know you aren’t doing well in school. It’s kind of embarrassing.” We also asked Jordan how she feels about not receiving senior privilege. “If you make it all four years of high school, it should be a reward.” She also implied what she would do it if she had it. “ I would probably go home and take a little nap, set an alarm and come back to school so I can be well rested and ready to learn. It’s a nice little brain break.” She also feels that if a student could take a “brain break” throughout the day, and come back more energized it may help students with their mental health. 


We feel that students who are struggling with school and don’t have senior privilege would benefit from having it. This could possibly help getting more work done at home if they like working in a quiet environment. This ties into Jeremy’s point. Students being able to go home and get work done in a quiet space can also affect how much effort that is going to put into the assignment and actually understand the material that they are learning. With friends and distractions around a student, they may rush the assignment just to finish quickly to talk to their friends.  This can also tie into the point that Jordan made in the paragraph above. Being able to go home and take a break for a little while wont only boost a students energy, but also allows them to relax a little instead of constantly doing school work for 6 and a half hours.


Even though senior privilege is a privilege to have, we think that it would be beneficial to the students if the requirements were altered a little. For example the point Maddie made about learning disabilities and how this is something that cannot be controlled is something that should be considered when looking at qualifications. In a way all points that were brought up by each of the three students we interviewed add up. If a student who may have a grade lower than a C- but not a failing grade has senior privilege, it would be beneficial to them to have the ability to go home and work in a quiet space to improve their grades and understanding of the material. Along with being able to take a rest when they need to. This will have them feeling full of energy and recharged for the rest of their school day. 


Senior privilege is something that everyone wants, the students who have lower grades but put time and effort into their work are somehow always being overlooked. We find this unfair and an issue that needs to be changed.