Report by Paula Antolini
April 5, 2018 12:58PM EDT
Photo: Some members of the Bethel High School Orchestra and Band performing at the BHS graduation 2017 at WestConn. (Bethel Advocate file photo.)
An Extensive List of Strict Rules Specifically for BHS ‘Music Wing’ Suddenly Issued by Bethel High School Administration
Today, April 5, 2018, an email dated April 2, 2018 was sent out to parents and guardians of students attending Bethel High School, which included an extensive list of new rules and regulations specifically regarding the BHS “Music Wing.”
There is only one sentence explaining why this action was done, so far, and that is, the “The Bethel High School Music Department is working to enforce protocols they have created in an effort to promote a positive culture that ensures the safety and security of all students and staff members.” The letter is sent from BHS Principal Christopher Troetti, BHS Associate Principal Gary Lawlor, and BHS Assistant Principal Mari Lerz. You can read a copy below.
Previously most of these rules were not in place and students would use the music wing, music wing hallway, and lockers as needed, not needing permission to enter or exit, and the room was not always locked.
What has happened to cause Bethel High School (BHS) administrators to suddenly issue extensive new protocol directly geared towards the BHS “Music Wing”? Needless to say, it could make sense to put such rules in place for all students using the music wing. It could bring in a sense of discipline and order as is needed. When students use musical instruments on a daily basis, it becomes important to make them understand that such instruments may be delicate and must be handled safely to prevent damage when storing and removing them from instrument storage, among many other things to keep in mind. These rules might have been enforced to ensure that no student or unauthorized person has access to instruments/music rooms during off-hours, thus helping prevent damage and unwarranted situations.
We have messaged Mr. Troetti and are awaiting his reply. Please look for updates here.
Letter from BHS:
April 2, 2018
The Bethel High School Music Department is working to enforce protocols they have created in
an effort to promote a positive culture that ensures the safety and security of all students and staff members. These are the expectations that they have developed for the Music Wing.
Expectations for the Music Wing
FOR THE MUSIC WING:
â- Doors must remain locked at all times–before, during and after school.
â- Students can’t have keys, for any reason, including custodial duties.
â- Students must be supervised in the Music Wing at all times (before, during, and after
â- Students cannot sit in the music wing hallway, except before school, or when assigned
to do so with a music teacher’s permission, during that teacher’s class.
â- There must be a stated closing time for the music wing. The room should be
completely cleared of all students at that time, without exception. The schedule of
available time should be posted. In addition, the schedule of after school rehearsals
should be available on a building-wide google calendar. The same calendar should be
accessible for parents.
â- The door to the drum closet should either be removed completely or locked at all times.
Individual storage containers within the closet should be padlocked.
â- If a student asks to use a practice room, a teacher must accompany the student to the
room and open it. After opening doors to the practice rooms, they should remain
locked. The lights in the practice rooms must be turned on, always.
â- Appliances such as microwaves, toaster ovens, refrigerators, etc., shall be removed
from music rooms.
â- Students must not use the side entrance of the band or choral room to enter when late
OR after leaving the building.
â- Students may not eat lunch in the music wing. During lunch waves, the music hallway
doors will be closed. Students may, instead, eat lunch in the lobby. There will be no
eating in the practice rooms.
â- In order to use a practice room, students must ask a music teacher for access.
Practice rooms will be granted to students in music classes, and later to learning lab
students. Practice room doors must remain locked at all times.
â- In order to spend time in the music wing (classroom, hallways. and practice rooms),
you must adhere to school rules of respect and responsibility. If any teacher
determines that you are not adhering to school rules, you will be asked to leave. Music
department teachers reserve the right to revoke the privilege of music wing facilities
use for non-compliance with the rules.
â- In order to use a music classroom OR practice room during learning lab, students must
seek approval from a music department teacher. The music department teacher can
only grant approval if the granting teacher can be responsible for supervision. All
students must check in with their learning lab teachers for attendance, prior to visiting
the music wing. Students must have a PASS from their music teacher in order to report
to the music wing during a LL.
â- Approval is determined by the music teacher, and can be revoked for behavioral
â- Students in a music classroom will be under the supervision of the teacher in the
designated classroom. As such, they may not leave the area.
â- If a music teacher is not present, a student may not attend learning lab in the music
â- Learning labs can be used only for quiet study, or practice in a practice room. Students
may not practice in the hallways or classrooms during class.
â- The music wing is not open for any students during advisory.
EQUIPMENT STORAGE LOCKERS:
â- Lockers can be used to store musical instruments and associated equipment.
â- Lockers cannot be used to store personal items, including bags, books, lunches,
sporting equipment, chromebooks.
â- In order to use a locker, students must receive a lock, issued from the main office.
â- The Music Dept. will develop a protocol for keeping their rooms neat, tidy, and
â- The Music Dept. will devise a system for locker assignments. Only musical equipment
is permitted in the lockers.
â- The Music Dept. will check attendance on the day of an evening event to be sure that
all students are present in school and eligible to participate. Students who are out ILL
for the day cannot participate in evening events. If there are extenuating
circumstances, administrative approval is required.
â- The Music Dept will monitor student grades/academic eligibility for any field trips.
Students who are failing more than one class are not eligible to attend field
trips–unless administrative approval is granted. Students who egregiously violate
policy will be removed from field trips, and they will be unable to attend music
CONSEQUENCES FOR MISBEHAVIOR:
â- Students who violate policy will be referred to BHS Administration and they shall be
removed from honors music ensembles, lose their place on field trips, and be unable to
participate in music department events.
If you have any questions about these protocols, please do not hesitate to contact the department coordinator, Rick Baumer at firstname.lastname@example.org or BHS Administration.
Christopher M. Troetti, Principal
Gary Lawlor, Associate Principal
Mari Lerz, Assistant Principal
UPDATE April 6, 2018 3:42PM EDT
Today Bethel High School Principal Mr. Troetti answered our email inquiry, via phone call, regarding our questions about sudden stricter protocols now in place for the “Music Wing” of BHS, and whether or not a specific incident prompted the new protocols to be issued.
Troetti said “no comment” at first, but then added that it was a combination of “a number of things that added up” that prompted the new rules to be set in place, to “prevent a distraction during classes” and stop individuals from entering and exiting the room without permission because “unstructured time” could be detrimental to “safety and security, which is important.”
He said the administration “tries to create a culture that is positive to make sure students and faculty are safe.”