My Top Three Loopholes in the Student Handbook

by Peter Bloch

For those of you who don’t know, January 26 is about to be the first Upper School “bring your cat to school” day.

Well, not really–but there’s nothing stopping you from bringing your cat to school at any time. In fact, there’s nothing stopping you from bringing any non-dog pet to school. According to the all-school handbook, the “No Dog Policy” explicitly states when and where a dog can be on campus. Because there is no mention whatsoever of consequences or policies relating to any other kind of animal or pet, we  are be able to bring any non-dog pets to school, as it does not violate any rules.

It should be noted that if the pet disrupts a class, you can get into trouble. In the same way, you would also be required to coordinate with your parents and your advisor in accordance with the “OES Food and Allergy Policy” to insure that any student potentially allergic to your pet is not at extreme risk. If you’re too lazy overcome this hurdle, however, I personally recommend bringing some form of non-venomous reptile, as you don’t need permission if it’s not allergy-inducing. Oddly enough, this loophole could be patched if policy board decided to simply change the instances of “dog” with “pet,” but until then, any student can take advantage of this opportunity. While this may seem like work, I feel that this is the single most underused loophole in our student handbook, and I hope to see more obscure pets gracing our campus soon.

The second oddity (maybe just for me personally) is that there’s no rule against public displays of affection (PDA). As long as it’s entirely consensual and non-disruptive to a class, you can do whatever you want at school. This can be a touchy subject to reform, and because safety is already prioritized, I don’t see this rule changing any time soon…it’s just awkward for everyone observing those engaged in PDA.

As many students are well aware, there are many websites that block online gaming during the school day because it violates the school’s network policy. However, if a student were to keep their activities offline and non-disruptive to the learning environment, they’re totally allowed. This brings me to my third and final loophole: bringing your own video game system. If you don’t believe me, you can ask some seniors about the FIFA tournament held every spring as a fundraiser for Midwinter Madness. Please note, however, that the technology department has asked that students refrain from using projectors without the explicit permission of a teacher beforehand, as it can overwork the hardware or mess up the default settings.

So there you have it folks, these were my top three ways to abuse the school-given rhetoric for entertainment purposes. If you would either like to promote or get rid of any of these rules, I recommend emailing your grade-level policy board representative to discuss these issues. Until next time ‘varks!

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