Failure of the Four-Minute Passing Periods


Ashley Slate, Bulletin & Spotlight Editor

The sharp high-pitched whine of the warning bell cuts through the air, grating on your ears. You are surrounded by hoards of people, all shoving arms and yelling voices. You only have one minute to get to class.  A class that’s, conveniently, located way on the other end of the school. By the time you’re able to leave the throng of people, doing that awkward half walk/run thing to try and speed things up, the bell rings again, sealing your fate. Surprise! You’re late.

Does this scenario sound familiar? It should. As Keller High begins its second week of the 2014-2015 school year, head administrators figure that everyone should be able to get to class in a miniscule amount of time. As of this week, tardies are now being counted. Collect too many, and you could be looking at the fun possibility of Saturday school, or even ISS.

Let’s just be blunt. The four-minute passing periods are absolutely ridiculous. And here’s why.

Firstly, there are the people. I’m quite certain that the person who drew up this brilliant four-minute plan has never witnessed the halls of Keller High during a passing period. When the bell rings, it’s chaos. People swell out of their classrooms like a rising tide, all gathering at the end of every hallway. From there, everyone’s pushing each other and yelling various things, and if you happen to find yourself in the middle of it all, good luck getting to where you need to be. You’ll need it.

Now, if there were not so many people who attended this school, navigating through the hallways wouldn’t be as much of a problem. Four minutes could actually have a possibility of working, and I wouldn’t be writing this article. But when you factor in all the people that are in the hallway, all fighting to get where they need to be at the same time, four minutes isn’t going to cut it. Do the math. Roughly three thousand students + narrow hallways = need more time to get to class (yes, more than four minutes).

Then there’s the distance. Nobody is going to have classes that are conveniently located next to one another. In fact, more people are going to have to make the trek way across the school to get to their next location. Back in the simpler times, when passing periods were an appropriate five minutes, getting across the school was only moderately difficult. Now, in four minutes, it’s near impossible. And while I’m all for getting in some daily exercise, I really don’t appreciate having to run a mini-marathon just to get to class on time. But that’s just me. Obviously, when the four-minute idea was created, it didn’t keep the students with distant classes in mind.

Now, this article might seem a little bit excessive. Maybe it is. I can hear you thinking: “It’s only a minute less, what’s the difference anyway?” But Keller High is a big, crowded school. It takes time to push through all the crowds in the hallway, and make it to where you need to be on time. When you take those factors into consideration, every minute counts.