The Argument for Advocate

The controversy that’s sparked debate throughout the school

Samantha Nowlin

More stories from Samantha Nowlin


The debate on whether or not to remove advocate for the 2022-2023 school year continues to bring more tension between students and teachers. 

Advocate is a short period where students can go to tutorials, have a break, or do school work. Students must have a pass to leave their assigned teacher’s classroom to go elsewhere. If advocate were to be removed, the minutes may need to be made up by adding time to other classes.

“We should keep advocate because it’s a mental break in an already long school day that’ll be even longer if it gets taken away,” junior Grey Nguyen said. “It’s ridiculous because humans are not meant to sit in one place, studying, focusing on things for long amounts of time with no breaks.”

The classroom that students go to for advocate changes daily. This was originally to create more minutes in CTE courses to prevent a loss in funding.

“I think it can be useful to some people but I don’t think it should be a requirement for others,” freshman Drake Lambert said. “If we want to go to our next class we should be able to and do your work there. I don’t think it should rotate between different classrooms.”

The reason advocate is on the chopping block is due to students skipping without checking out. Without a solid way to track attendance, kids can leave the campus without being counted absent from their next class.

“If there was data that could prove that these kids are staying in the building, they’re just not in the room, I would be fine with that,” teacher CJ Alexander said. “But when I look out the window, there are lots of them walking out.”

In the past, there was an advocate portal, where a student would request to be in a specific class during advocate and be added to the roster if accepted by the teacher. The attendance would be taken and used to make sure students are in the building, but was changed in 2020 due to virtual learning. 

“Personally, it can be frustrating for me,” Alexander said. “I look up and I have 33 kids. Then advocate happens, and there’s 15 in here. When the bell rings and we are ready to start class, 33 students are here. Where were the other 18?”

The only way to know where a student is during an advocate period is if they have a pass or are in their assigned classroom. Attendance is not usually taken during advocate, leaving students to be able to roam elsewhere without many repercussions.

“If the kids are not there for that slot but they show up to class you’re still going to mark them present,” Alexander said. “I hate the babysitting aspect of it.”

Advocate is between second/sixth period and third/seventh period. It’s in the middle of the day, giving students a pause in between classes to do what they need.

“It’s a chance to talk to the students who have missed or aren’t understanding something,” Forsell said. “Sometimes students who are struggling with how to prioritize their work, and I’ve been able to sit and talk with them about. You can check your email as a teacher so if kids are asking for stuff I can get an answer to them pretty quick.”

Many students have before and after school commitments, making them unable to attend tutorials during the week. 

“The system is good, but it’s broken,” Alexander said. “It’s dependent on a student being proactive and making sure that they get the pass, get to their advocate teacher, get the signature and go back to where they wanna go. It’s those pieces, that when they aren’t followed through by everyone, it ends up being a problem for someone else.”