Is a “Free Period” Actually a Free Period?

Is a “Free Period” Actually a Free Period?

By definition a free period  is a block of time allocated for lessons, classes or other activities in schools.

Shouldn’t students be allowed to roam as they please during free periods? Why are they not allowed in the gym? The weight room? Or even the locker room? What’s the reason for these restrictions?

The Out-of-Door Academy gives its student the ability to walk, talk, eat, laugh, joke, and play during free periods. A student at ODA is given independence to do what he or she chooses with their time. Basically everything a student can want, but why are there still restrictions?

Everything in the gym including the weight room and the locker room are completely off limits. A large number of students object to this and don’t understand why.

“I don’t believe it is truly a free period anymore. I do work all day and just need something to relieve my stress like playing basketball or working out. I have practice after school everyday and don’t get home till 7 so I can’t workout at all. It would be great if I could get my workout in during the day,” said sophomore Trenton Radigan.

Austin Hoppe, junior, said, “I just want to be able to throw a ball around or shoot some baskets in the gym. I don’t see why I can’t do that.”

Some claim that the control comes because teachers and administrators believe that the student body is too destructive or may be irresponsible if left alone. That raises another question: why can’t we have the needed supervision?

Head of the Upper school, Mrs. Dougherty, said that question gets asked a lot. “We would love our students to be able to do what they want during free periods. It’s not that we believe students are irresponsible or destructive. It’s just the supervision issue again. If someone gets hurt or breaks something it is our responsibility. Even if it’s on accident we still are liable. We wouldn’t have these restrictions if it wasn’t for a good reason. If we could find someone who will always watch the students that would be great.”

Don’t blame the teachers for not being allowed in the gym. They are just doing as they are told. If full time supervision is present,  feel free to play around, but otherwise the gym is completely off limits… for now.

If you really want to hangout in the gym or exercise, go out and find a teacher willing to supervise. If not, do some jumping jacks in front of the library, run around the arts building 10 times or curl some benches. Do anything active! If you have any solutions go to Mrs. Dougherty. She will be open to discussion.