18-year-old responsibility form a mixed blessing

Many CHS students wish that they could leave school at any time when they get bored. However, they don’t want their parents to have to come sign them out of class when they have their own cars. For students who are 18, their wish came true.

There is a form on the Carmel High website called the 18 Year Old Responsibility Form. It states that “as an adult, [you are] fully aware that [you] no longer come under the compulsory education laws of the State of California.”

Basically, the same rules apply to normal students as to the adult ones. If they miss the beginning of school or a full day of school, they have to call in and give the attendance office a legitimate reason why they were gone.

It is mandatory that students sign in and out through Ann Berry at the attendance office. To obtain this form, one must get it from Berry herself.

Here at CHS, all students 18 or older are able to sign themselves out of school at any time without their parents or guardians knowing. All they have to do is sign a form and have their parent or guardian sign it as well.

Having an off-campus pass and signing yourself out are not the same thing, though. Any junior or senior that meets the requirements for an off-campus pass can get one, but only students that are 18 have the ability to sign themselves out.

“Most 18-year-olds are not responsible enough to handle this freedom,” Berry says.

Don Perry, one of the campus supervisors, thinks that adults should not be making a big deal about the fact that 18-year-old students can sign themselves out.

“If you’re 18 and can vote or go to war and get killed, it shouldn’t be such a big deal,” he says.

However, both he and fellow supervisor Tami Hardisty think there is definitely an abuse of the policy. They both see the same students checking themselves out every day and using the same excuses.

Some of the most frequent excuses are “I have a headache” or “I feel sick,” Hardisty says. She also thinks that there should be a limit on how many times a month a student can sign themselves out.

Even though the adult students get this privilege, it can also be easily taken away. If a student disobeys the contract, CHS has two options: The school can decide to take away the privilege or send the student to Carmel Valley High School.
-Kim Burns