Time flies when you’re already late
Alexis Aguren, co-editor-in-chief
May 4, 2012
Filed under Opinion
This is a piece for the non-bus riding, solo riders, car poolers, speeding down 249-ers, frequently called tardy to first period kids, we know how you feel.
Three tardies for the semester and you’re toast. Four and you can kiss a week of lunches goodbye or opt for two hours after school. Five or more… I don’t even want to think about it.
You’re entering the parking lot and the bell rings. Your heart breaks. You turn back around and go some where else. You’re missing an entire class period to avoid a write up for being a few minutes late. Now the school is losing money that they wouldn’t have lost if you had been counted tardy instead of absent. We all know that’s the last thing the school wants (seniors that are subject to ‘study hall’ this week especially).
There is a shocking number of students that would rather skip first period than get write up after write up for tardies. Those students aren’t victims; it’s usually their fault for coming to school late. We aren’t trying to say there shouldn’t be a punishment for tardiness. We’re just trying to say that it shouldn’t be write ups that push people to skip class.
Some teachers count a student tardy if their hand is on the door handle, others allow a few minutes after the bell. Some force kids to walk back to the attendance office and get a pass there, further extending the time they are missing class. This inconsistency is frustrating to students all around. Teachers have probably heard ‘my other teachers never write me up’, and take a hit for simply doing the job assigned to them by the administration.
Speaking of the attendance office, that little white slip seems to grant some kids immunity to tardy write ups. A kid could be late to school every day of the week, but as long as he stops by the attendance office he’s golden. While another that walked through the door a minute after the bell faces heavy consequence.
Taking a consistently tardy student out of class for a day of ISS as punishment is counterproductive. Most students don’t view the ‘punishment’ as more than an aggravation, thus eliminating the point of a punishment. Write ups, detentions, and ISS aren’t effective in stopping the tardies and only increase the likelihood a student will choose to skip the entire class.
A better solution, at least for first period, is to encourage teachers to provide an in-class punishment if they feel a consequence for tardiness is necessary. Save the write ups for those that waltz in without a pass half an hour after the bell rings. It’s better to have someone miss a few minutes at the beginning of class than force them to skip the class entirely.
From something as simple as cleaning the white boards to as severe as a grade deduction, the teachers would have reign. Those in AP Economics certainly feel the fear of missing Paula Temperilli’s class. If she can instill the terror in her students and force them to drag themselves to their seats on time, other teachers can do the same.