EG tightens security, enforces reintroduced rules

Darina Lubenov and Gavin Ewen

With several students receiving tardies during the first semester, the Elk Grove High School administration has implemented new measures and repercussions for students who arrive late to class.

“Tardies were off the charts and we needed to try some new interventions,” division head for student success, safety and wellness (DHSSSW) Steven Lesniak said.

The school will especially be cracking down on tardy students arriving to class without a pass. Lesniak said all students late at the beginning of the school day or to a class period must have a pass. 

Senior student Larry Clites, who said there are times where he has arrived late to class in the past, said he remembers never needing to obtain a pass before going to class up until these past few months.

“When you are tardy at the beginning of the school day, they made me get a pass from the attendance office,” Clites said. 

Old EGHS policies such as the “No-Fly Zone” — in which teachers cannot issue passes during the first or last 10 minutes of the period — are also reappearing as school returns to in-person learning.

The renewed rule has created problems for students who choose to eat elsewhere from the cafeteria.

“I feel horrible about it and I wish there was more spaces for students to eat,” mastery lab coordinator Leilani Hernandez said.

Hernandez said she makes sure that rules are followed in the mastery lab. She manages computer labs, tutoring and multiple teacher and student schedules. The mastery lab is there for students who seek tutoring and a quiet place to learn.

Lab E is where students are allowed to eat in the mastery lab. Lab D is for reserved classes and across Lab D and E is tutoring and test retaking. There, tutors and teachers can eat lunch, alongside students who are being tutored. If Lab E is full, students are sent back to the cafeteria by Hernandez. Students are also encouraged to go off-campus for lunch if they have the opportunity to do so. 

Junior Alan Perez sits in the mastery lab alongside his friends during lunch. Perez said he has no problems with the newly enforced rules, except for the required passes.

“To need a pass,” Perez said, “I get that it makes sense but it’s very inconvenient.”

Similarly to Perez, senior Melanie Martinez spends lunch in Lab E whenever she has the opportunity to. Martinez said that she had been down to the cafeteria before, but that it was crowded and dirty.

“I choose to be here because it’s more calm, and I get to do my own thing and have my own space,” Martinez said. 

The school cafeteria was once where students would freely go to eat lunch before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Many students dislike the cafeteria because students inconsistently follow the mask mandate and do not social distance, in some cases. Now, students resort to other locations in the building to avoid taking their masks off. 

Other areas such as the library, the stairs and the school hallways are places where students get sent back to the cafeteria, especially if they do not have a pass.

Senior Karina Lara has been sent back to the cafeteria before, even though her bags and items were left in the mastery lab. 

“Where are we supposed to get a pass from?” Lara asked.

Elk Grove has also utilized its security staff to identify students who need help getting to class and ensuring they have passes. Attendance interventionist Charles Moore, and DHSSSWs Edgar Rivera and Lesniak also participate.

Elk Grove High School security guard Rip Van Skye said all security and staff are urging students to get to class on time.

“We are continuing to sweep the halls, asking people where they are going when they are late for class and we’re pushing students to get to class on time,” Van Skye said.

Lesniak said students are missing valuable class time when they arrive late to instruction. 

“Our teachers are great and it’s important for the students to be there,” Lesniak said.