Freedom to be responsible

Brooke Ury, Opinion Editor

As soon as returning Liberty students arrived for the first day of school, they knew that something was different.
First, it was the locked doors. As upperclassmen tried to walk from the back parking lot into the school, they were promptly forced to walk around the PAC, grumbling all the way. And if they tried to come to school late, or return after the bell signals the end of lunch, then they had to sign-in, because who knows if they truly are the Liberty students they say they are.
Then came the hall passes. The lime-green lanyards that hang on little hooks on the walls, taunting any student who dared to exit a class for any reason.
Finally, as students tried to go off-campus for lunch, they were confronted by campus security, ready to turn around anyone without the magic off-campus sticker on their ASB card.
As students, we all appreciate the school’s concern for our safety. In the wake of school shootings and threats to Liberty, it makes sense that the school would reconsider their methods to protect students.
But Liberty, you have gone too far.
As we go through life, we generally expect the amount of freedoms and responsibilities we have to grow with us. For many of us, we have seen this trend as we are able to stay up later, stay home alone, or drive ourselves for the first time. The same has mostly rung true for our experiences in the Issaquah School District.
But these recent “protections” remind us of our elementary school days, back when we got picked up from the bus stop by our parents and needed adult supervision during recess. But even then, we were allowed to go to the bathroom without a hall pass around our necks.
It is true that with freedom comes responsibility, and we understand that some of our fellow classmates have not exhibited the responsibility that the school board would like to see. But by taking away our freedoms, when will we develop this responsibility?
In less than one year’s time, the seniors will be out in the real world, whether that be college, in the workforce, or another route. But on any path Liberty’s seniors might take, we will not have school administrators telling us what to do, and we will certainly not have hall passes.
But what we do need to be effective contributors to society. And the only way we can do that is if we are given the chance to develop our own responsibility, the kind that will follow us even after we leave Liberty. This will never happen under strict regulation of students.
So please, give us back our right to enter the school through more than one door, to self-regulate off-campus lunches, and to leave class by ourselves. It’s called Liberty, so why aren’t we free?