Change in student laptop policy leaves students scrambling


Cottonbro, via Pixels

After changes were implemented in the school’s personal device policy, some students have found it difficult to stay on top of schoolwork.

Maren Howard, Reporter

At the start of the 2022-2023 school year, HCP students were not allowed to bring personal laptops to school. Personal laptops fall under the school’s “no electronics” policy; if they are at school, they need to be kept in the student’s locker from 8-3. In the past couple of years, due to COVID, this policy had been lax on personal laptops due to things being more online.  

Renee Cox, one HCP’s assistant principals, said that they tightened this policy for safety and security reasons. It keeps students from bringing inappropriate material and showing it to others or a virus getting into the school’s network.  

Although, even with safety in mind, this policy has brought some issues for students. Seniors take a capstone class where they can apply for colleges and scholarships.  

“It’s challenging for me to get work done,” said senior Saliha Panjwani. “With having to change back and forth between emails and not having my phone to get past the two-factor security application, I’m unable to use my advisory and capstone efficiently.”  

Panjwani is also a student at Metro Tech where most of the coursework is online, and because of this policy she said it is harder to do that work at HCP.  

Laptop accessibility is another issue with this policy.  

I think they wanted to make sure that any laptops that would be used not only are going to be secure through our server, but that everybody would have access to a laptop, not just one person here who just happens to have a Mac,” said French teacher Emma Smreker. 

Teachers have access to school computers on wheels (COWS) but only one teacher in each department can check out the department’s COWS. This can result in some teachers not being able to get COWS for their students.  

“As lovely as these laptops are, using them for things that we need them for in Capstone can be a bit of a challenge, like for example, a lot of students have their Google account and things like that with two-factor authorization because we can’t have phones,” said Jillian Thomas, the school’s librarian. 

So far, students are going to have to adapt to the new circumstances.  

“In the future, if we feel like everybody’s been respectful of the rules, when it comes time to do mentorship and you have to start making those phone calls and stuff like that, then for the seniors during 7th hour only we [will] loosen that up a little bit,” Cox said. 

Until then, Cox said that students will have to look at these things as safety nets.

“They’re there for a reason. They keep you safe, us safe, our building safe and all that type of stuff that makes the learning environment as least destructive as possible.”