High school administration changes club policy


An average day at Freedom Area High School starts off with students’ four block classes and ends with Personal Learning Time (PLT). During this time, many students would attend clubs to learn and interact with each other and finish the day off in a welcoming environment. However, at the start of the school year, the administration changed this policy to having clubs after school with an activity bus, rather than clubs being in PLT. 

This decision raised some questions from a few students throughout the school. Students began asking, “What was the motivation behind this decision?” or “How will this affect the school?”

“The main motivation was that we look at PLT and want to make sure it is useful for all students. We feel like it is the perfect time for students to get help and get interventions they need. Also, it was to make sure teachers are available to work with students,” vice principal Mr. Jeffery Griffith said. 

Ensuring the fact that students get the studying and tutoring they need and deserve was the main factor behind the original policy change. 

Students were somewhat taken aback by this decision, stating that clubs were ruined and were being harmed in the long run. A small group of Freedom students pulled together a group to try and get clubs reinstated back in PLT. 

“I thought that the move of clubs after school brought detriment to those students in clubs, primarily students doing well. I understood the motivation for the change, to promote the students to do well in school, but by doing this, it disregarded the students already doing well. I felt that if we could create enough backlash, the decision might be reversed,” junior Logan Larrick said.

The group attempted to rally the community and got almost 400 signatures on their petition. They were also planning on attending the next school board meeting. 

However, the students retracted their plans on attending the meetings after the students and staff found out that the club policy had changed. Due to issues with the activity bus, it was unrealistic for students to stay after with the bus not arriving till  4 p.m. at the earliest. 

Many students were very happy with this news, while others did not care too much about the whole situation. Only a few students truly spoke up about their opinions on the club matter and what it meant for them, alumni and future students.

Many may look at the state of affairs and believe that the concerned group of students and the staff were butting heads, stating that they were both against each other. However, this simply is not true. Both Griffith and Principal Mr. Steven Mott have both stated that they enjoy clubs, and truly believe that they are beneficial. 

“I had nothing against those who made this decision, but simply wanted mine and others’ voices to be heard to support what we love, [which is] clubs,” Larrick said.