When you use a script to hide the status area, there's an option to "lock" it. When locked, not even you the developer can make the status area reappear without first running another script to unlock it.
It's possible to use Manage | Security to control access. What did you use for a "lock" expression? With the right lock expression and specified privileges, it's possible to do what you want here.
Thanks, PhilModJunk. That solved my problem. Essentially, I was creating a survey.