Wacky hall passes keep students on their toes

Mannequins, ducks and license plates, oh my!



Several teachers, including John Sherman – whose students must carry around a suitsuit-clad mannequin – have found creative ways to allow students out of class.

The typical hall pass at Granite Bay High is a green lanyard connected to a green piece of paper with a Grizzly bear and the teacher’s name on it.
But then, there are the alternatives that can be interesting, creative and wacky.

In math teacher John Sherman’s classes, for example, students leave class carrying a mannequin that is wearing a Speedo, a bandana and swimming goggles.
“I just thought it would be funny, quite honestly, and totally just poking some fun doesn’t harm anybody,” Sherman said. “I haven’t really changed my bathroom policy, but yeah, you gotta carry (around) a mannequin that has a Speedo.”

All jokes aside, there is a more realistic reason why Sherman uses this wacky hall pass.

“At some level, it’s a deterrent,” Sherman said. “I just have a lot of students that are taking advantage of the hall passes and feel like they don’t want to be in math class, (so) they can just stroll around campus. And so I’ve told them, ‘Hey, alright, (but) you’ve gotta take the bathroom buddy with you.”

While the pass might be all fun and games, the deterrent kicks in when students realize they’re going to have to haul around a “friend” who is too big and also a little creepy.

Apparently, the deterrent works – there are students who use the pass, but there are also students who just don’t go to the bathroom during class.

“I never go to the bathroom while I’m in class,” said sophomore Dustin Schweickert, who is in one of Sherman’s classes.

Media/film teacher Zachary Weidkamp’s pass is a license plate that reads I GOTTA P with a blue string tied from one side to the other. Weidkamp has been using this pass for three years now after getting a recommendation from his wife, who teaches at Woodcreek High.

“Sometimes I noticed students leaving without it, and it really doesn’t bother me,” Weidkamp said. “They’re supposed to have it out there, so it’s really on them. If they don’t have it and they get asked, it’s on them – I can’t baby them at that point.”

It turns out, Weidkamp’s pass also features a bit of a deterrent effect.

“I’ve only used it like two (or) three times, but I mean it’s pretty straight forward with the ‘Gotta P’ written on it,” sophomore McKenna Arbuckle said.

It’s up to students to take responsibility for using passes whether its a license plate, mannequin or even the decoy hunting duck that biology teacher Scott Braly uses for his class, something he’s been using for 12 years. He had another duck before that, but it flew the coop.

“It disappeared,” Braly said. “I think someone took it and kept it – it got retired. Hopefully, they’ve given it a good home and (are) keeping it on their mantel saying, ‘I got the bathroom duck.’ But I’ve got more if this one were ever to disappear.”

Sometimes the duck disappears when it gets forgotten by students in the bathroom and then gets returned by other students.

“It always finds its way home by students saying, ‘I’ve got your duck,’ ” Braly said.

But like other teachers, Braly wants his pass to serve as a bit of a deterrent.

“If a student is willing to carry a big plastic duck, I figure they are needing to go to the restroom and not just wanting to go for a walk,” he said. “And it’s fun – it adds another fun thing to do, and it’s nice to have little fun things in class that are unique and different and make people smile.”