New assistant principals strictly enforce handbook rules


Alex Hliatzos

New assistant principal Daniel Sapanaro assists students Mia Palmisano and Danica Rossi in the student affairs office during 7th period on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022.

Alex Hliatzos, Staff Writer

Now that the school year is underway, many students say they’re bothered by the enforcement of student handbook rules by the new administrators.

Daniel Sapanaro, the new 9th and 10th grade assistant principal, says the enforcement of the school handbook rules is due to the move from the pandemic-era years in which many rules were relaxed to a more regular school year. He said, “Everyone was affected by COVID. But for us, now that we are coming back as regular as we can, it’s essential we set conditions for optimal learning.”

Sapanaro said that this may come as a shock to many students. “[They are confused] because we’ve been so different in school, the way we’ve been set up. It’s got to be a shock to their systems to have this system, but it’s essential we return to that. At the end of the day, students need structure—they’re not ready to carve it for themselves.”

Senior Katie Cohen said it is difficult to find the right time to use the bathroom with the new rule that prohibits students from obtaining passes during the first and last ten minutes of class. She said, “Everybody is equally frustrated because most people have lunch around the same periods, and that means we all have to use the bathroom during similar times, but we can’t space it out like that because we are restricted to such a small schedule for when we go to the bathroom.”

Cohen suggested the administration get rid of the 10 minute-rule. “Each class is different, and in some classes it may be less disruptive to go in the first or last 10 minutes, or there may be a break in the middle. The ones I’m in get in-depth during the middle of class, [which] doesn’t give me a good opportunity to use the bathroom during the day until I get home,” she said.

Sapanaro said that the administration has received direct complaints about the new enforcement of the rules. He said, “The hoods, the hats, those are the biggest ones, and some of the dress code [issues] with the girls. Some of those are just being shocked that we are going to enforce those things.”

Sophomore Daniela Escobar Rosales said that the school is upholding the language of the student handbook that might be outdated. “I do think that dress codes are sexualizing women because their bodies shouldn’t be a distraction—if it is a distraction, you are sexualizing them. Girls should be able to wear anything within reason—clothing is self-expression,” she said.

Escobar Rosales said that women expose more skin mainly due to the heat. “If I want to wear a tank top on a hot day, I can’t show my shoulders? I walk home, but in school I have to wear a jacket over my tank top.”

Sapanaro said that he and the administration are going to be understanding of each situation that arises. He said, “Miss Baker and I are reasonable people—we’re very understanding. It’s not always cut and dry, be patient, don’t get worked up— come see us, we’ll figure out a plan, about whatever that situation is.”

According to Sapanaro, the administration is open to hearing feedback and ideas on how to revise the student handbook. He said, “We want administrators, teachers, and students being part of it. We haven’t reached out to anyone in particular, but we are going to really soon.”