Opinion: Passing periods should be longer


Sample detention slips that students received for disciplinary reasons.

Brizeyda Esqueda

As current Northbrook Senior High School students, a passing period is a five-minute break we get between our seven periods to get to the next period. 

Between these five minutes, we are expected to drink water and go to the restroom. Once we have arrived at our class period, we are not allowed to leave the first and last ten minutes of class. 

Many students find this break unfair because the restrooms get pretty full, and most students in line don’t get a chance to go because they prefer not getting a tardy to class. 

“They are so full, there’s always 6 people in the restroom and sometimes I just leave and wait to get permission from my teacher,” says Mariah Martinez, 12th grader. 

We understand that it is a rule to not leave a classroom for the first ten minutes of class. That way, we don’t have a chance of being counted absent, but sometimes the need to use the restroom is vast. 

At Northbrook Senior High School, we also have “Hall Sweeps” once in a while. These hall sweeps mean that teachers need to lock their doors exactly when the tardy bell rings, and whoever gets locked out must make their way to the auditorium and face the consequences. 

These consequences are after-school detentions. 

“My friend got after-school detention for trying to get to the athletics wing, and sometimes they don’t even give us a chance to explain to them,” says Jaquelin Garcia, 10th grader.

We have seen many kids roaming the halls and being goofy and horse playing, but some students are dedicated to going to class early. Still, it is a bit impossible now that our school student population has increased and all of our staircases get incredibly full. Our current construction also does not help the situation.

It is not fair for good dedicated students to face consequences they don’t really deserve. 

This “issue” is like having a job. Only this is agreed to be worse. In a job, we don’t get consequences; we get warnings. 

Although it is believed to be an issue, this also positively impacts us. We get used to managing time well, which helps us succeed in the future. 

What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you think our passing periods should be longer? How does your school work?


We ran different scenarios and routes that some students have to take during passing periods. Most did not make it to class in 5 minutes or less.

Scenario 1: Student starts at Theater Hall, goes to the restroom by cafeteria, Goes up the Ramp, Goes up the stairs to the C-Wing, enters Ms. Reed’s Room

Recorded times: 5 minutes 20 seconds and 5 minutes and 59 seconds.

Scenario 2: Student starts in A119, goes to the 3rd-floor boys restroom, enters his Physics class.

Recorded times: 5 minutes 40 seconds and 5 minutes and 25 seconds. 

Scenario 3: Student starts in the Gym, goes up the ramp, up a floor, enters the boys restroom, enters classroom between C & D. 

Recorded times: 6 minutes 22 seconds and 4 minutes and 49 seconds.