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||The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (December 2010)|
A hall monitor may be either a student volunteer in American schools who is charged with maintaining order in the school's corridors or an adult paraprofessional staff member who carries out similar duties, sometimes in conjunction with other paraprofessional duties. They may be either students who are chosen for the position because they are responsible, or that may be chosen on a rota from all available students (a dorm monitor, similarly, is a student or teacher volunteer in schools who is charged with maintaining order in a school's dormitories, i.e. making sure children are in bed asleep and not disturbing others).
While specific duties vary between establishments, hall monitors typically check that students who are outside of their classrooms during lesson times have a valid hall pass, maintain overall good conduct in the corridors by preventing running and rowdy behavior, and ensure students are punctual in attending classes. Hall monitors may also be posted to a school's doors in order to prevent unauthorized entry during recess, in which case they may be known as door monitors.
A hall monitor may have extra privileges and authority that is not afforded to other students, though the exact nature varies between schools.
Hall monitors are most commonly found in junior and middle schools within the United States, but they may also be found in other countries under different names, or with slightly different duties.
In other countries
In the United Kingdom the hall monitor system is not used; however, some secondary schools create prefects from the older students who may carry out some of the same duties, with variants including senior prefects and the Head Boy/Head Girl. In Malta a few schools have monitors, mostly door, class and hall monitors. Their job is not to let any one into classes before the lessons start and during recess. Class monitors are like prefects but only stay with the class until the teacher arrives for the first lesson in the morning or right after recess.
In Ontario, Canada, Hall Monitors (if present at all) are not student volunteers, but actual paid security guards who patrol corridors and maintain security within a secondary school. There may be 1-4 hall monitors depending on the size of the secondary school. In India the title is only monitor who has responsibilities for assisting teachers in class.
In South Korea, monitors do not walk around the hall. In the morning, they are all around the school, looking for students who didn't wear clothes and/or shoes properly or who are late for school. They catch them and write their names so they will get points for doing wrong things. If they get too many points they have to work for the school. If they get even more points after that, or an extremely high number of points, then they have to transfer to another school.
The concept of the Hall monitor has entered into popular culture in the US, and is frequently used as plot device or script elements in children's entertainment.
In this context, hall monitors are frequently portrayed as being similar to police officers or security guards, and their requests to see students' hall passes are commonly used as allegory to requests for ID by the police.
In The Simpsons episode "Separate Vocations", Bart Simpson becomes an authoritarian hall monitor after spending the day on a police ridealong; while in Codename: Kids Next Door episode Operation: P.I.N.K.E.Y.E., the school's hall monitor is portrayed as a corrupt Irish-American detective who turns a blind eye to adult schemes. In the South Park episode "Miss Teacher Bangs a Boy," Eric Cartman grossly abuses his power as hall monitor, which he portrays in the style of Dog the Bounty Hunter.
In an episode of The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, entitled Hall Monster, Jimmy becomes a hall monitor and abuses his power. An episode of the Brady Bunch had Bobby Brady becoming a hall monitor and extending his enforcement of the school rules into the home when he started reporting his brothers and sisters to his parents.
The ED-209 from RoboCop makes a cameo appearance in the show Family Guy (“Running Mates”) as the “XL-K” hall pass enforcement robot. The scene in which an Omni Consumer Products executive is killed after complying with orders is also parodied when a young girl is confronted by the XL-K and requested to present a hall pass. It attacks her even after she presents her hall pass.
Also, in Disney Channel's Original Series, The Suite Life on Deck, episode 24 (season 2 episode 3: In the Line of Duty), Zack (Dylan Sprouse) is appointed by his teacher Miss Tutweiller (Erin Cardillo) as hall monitor on the ship, but messes it all up when he sends all the students in detention.
The position of hall monitor can also be used in pop culture to show how school children who receive the title can be affected by power. For instance, in the Nickelodeon cartoon Hey Arnold, Phoebe (the nice, quiet, brainy girl) succeeds Helga as hall monitor and later becomes a power-hungry tyrant.
In Ben 10 Season 4, episode 40 Perfect Day, Kevin Levin was patrolling the halls, Gwen remarks Kevin as a tough hall monitor.
In the SpongeBob SquarePants, episode "Hall Monitor", Boating School Teacher Mrs. Puff makes SpongeBob the Hall Monitor of the day, much to her dismay, and he grossly overdoes everything on and off school grounds.
In Disney Channel's original series A.N.T. Farm, episode 37 (season 2 episode 12: significANT other), Olive gives Cameron the title "Corridor Sheriff" after he rejects the title "Hall Monitor" and she purposely breaks the rules in an attempt to make him go mad with power for her psychology project, but he purposely ignores these rule-breakings in order to drive Olive mad for his psychology project.
In the game Dangan Ronpa, Kiyotaka Ishimaru was given the title "Super High-school Level Hall Monitor". However, it is more likely his role is more so that of a class representative than a hall monitor.