What’s up with the Hallways?

How the DHS hallway system is ineffective to prevent COVID spread.

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Britney LaVecchia

A common sight in DHS hallways are confusing signs directing students as to which way they are to walk. Effective at first, these signs are now often unheeded.

Britney LaVecchia, Co-Editor in Chief

Darien High School has been through many new alterations and restrictions due to COVID. Although they are intended to help us to practice safe measures, the one way hallways have become more and more of a complete and utter failure. With the school fully reopened, we have seen how marking arrows on the ground will not stop students from flowing the wrong direction. Many students and teachers are to blame for the backups in the hallways, but should we criticize them or the people that installed this system? 

The arrows in the hallways do not even follow a full circle. Personally I have found myself walking down a hallway to find an arrow pointing in the opposite direction of the class. While this is a safety measure, it lacks common sense. The directions in the hallway do not even follow the same routes, as the sky bridge arrow goes the opposite way as the hallway beside it. But why make getting around so difficult? The student body has complained about the hallways as many do not make sense. Yes, they do help prevent COVID spread, but if nobody is going to listen – what is the point, exactly? 

Administration has put into place many safety measures at DHS that work, yet the hallways are disorganized and extremely crowded.

Senior Iyanna Green believes that this situation is “ridiculous on how little enforced the hallway rules are. People are going several ways and stacking up which defeats the purpose of everything”.

Not only are these rules stressful for students, but a safety hazard. The lack of enforcement by teachers and compliance by students is very troubling as we are nearing a possible second wave of cases. Although precautions might seem different now than they were in March, not much has changed and we must recognize this is for our safety and an arrow on the ground is not going to cut it. Green sees this not only as a safety issue, but something that is inefficient as stairwells lead students to the opposite directions making it difficult to reach class. 

Taken in the DHS courtyard, students pile up around the B wing entrances with few masks in sight.

Not only is there a lack of enforcement, but there’s also a lack of understanding for the confusing hallway system. We are expected to go outside to get some “fresh air” but have little easy access to the courtyard.

I asked students from the school their opinions; most of them responded with just “I hate it”. When asked to elaborate they all repeated the same things as it is not really safe and it doesn’t make sense.

Senior Jimmy Nedder explained why the students despise this new system as it “cramps up people in the hallways and doesn’t fix anything”. 

The students are frustrated by the way this system has turned out. Instead of keeping them safe it puts them at risk due to overcrowding, and can we really blame the students that end up going in the wrong direction? Sometimes it is pretty much impossible to access classrooms from certain stairwells and buildings. How can this be a good, productive system if it cannot even map out the school correctly? Further, teachers and faculty have preached social distancing but have ignored the rules themselves, making this an extremely dangerous environment for anyone entering the DHS building.

Not only are the hallways extremely crowded, but the courtyard is constantly filled with a mass of students without masks.

This image captures the area where the G wing stairwell faces the opposite direction of the traffic from the sky bridge.

 

The issue of COVID is very prevalent and serious, especially with a school that is fully back. If there is no change students and teachers are put at risk. Better precautions and a better system will lead to safer practices. Some type of reevaluation must be made or students will continue to walk in the opposite direction. If we are expected to walk one direction, then it should at least make proper sense.

Do you feel safe in the DHS one way hallways?

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