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Bottom O closes for 2 days due to Grade 12 student behavior

Clara Martinez
Bottom Orange, a space typically occupied by Grade 12 students, remains quiet and empty during a passing period after Director of Student Life Royce Wallace announced its closure Dec. 6. The area will be reopened to students Dec. 8.

Director of Student Life Royce Wallace announced in an email the morning of Dec. 6 that Bottom Orange, a space traditionally occupied by Grade 12 students, would be closed Dec. 6-7. Wallace said the reason for the two-day shutdown was repeated bad language, noise and other violations of the school’s core values by Grade 12 students.

Wallace said the decision was made after discussion with other faculty members and based on continued poor behavior over time.
“When it becomes, you know an unfortunate pattern, then that’s where you know, just in terms of just a reset is exactly what I think that space just needed,” Wallace said.

During Conference Time B Dec. 6, Grade 12 students sat at Top Orange to play cards, as it was commonly played around Bottom O. After a few minutes of students sitting on the floor at Top O, administrators asked them to clear the hallway.

Grade 12 students sit at Top Orange to play cards during Conference Time B Dec. 6. Playing cards was a common pastime at Bottom O (Clara Martinez).

Austyn Treadway (’24) said he did not think Bottom O should have been completely closed, and code of conduct violations should have instead been addressed with the small group of students.

“Maybe have a talk with some specific group,” Treadway said. “You know, it’s not the whole grade. The whole grade shouldn’t be affected by this issue.”

Although Treadway said it would be beneficial to “set out some standards” for what is appropriate at Bottom O, he did not believe that the two-day closure was necessary.

“We’re obviously very respectful,” Treadway said. “Sometimes the music is a bit loud, sometimes there’s some cursing, but you know, I don’t think it’s warranted.”
Wallace said the challenge with Bottom O is that it is visible to students in Lower and Middle School who must walk through to get to some of their classes, and it is between the offices of the Director of Athletics and Director of Operations. Thus, Wallace said he must regulate behavior because so many people must utilize the hallway.

“I really wish there was another space that could be you know, that could become like the traditional, you know, senior space or whatever have you that might allow for a little more, a little bit more flexibility,” Wallace said. “But, because it’s such a public space, that’s the hard part.”

Wallace said Bottom O will reopen Dec. 8 as stated in yesterday’s email.

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About the Contributor
Clara Martinez, Editor-in-Chief
Clara Martinez (’24) is the Editor-in-Chief for The Standard. She began journalism as an editor of the Middle School newspaper The Scroll and joined The Standard in Grade 9. Martinez is drawn to investigative news stories and profiles, although she does enjoy producing the occasional broadcast or photo gallery. In or out of the newsroom, she can always be found with a pocket-sized notebook and pen in hand.

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