The Flaws Of The Tardy Policy

My experience being late to class and the consequences.

Emily+Roberts.+junior%2C+late+to+class.
Emily Roberts. junior, late to class.

Emily Roberts. junior, late to class.

Emily Roberts. junior, late to class.

Sabrina Jaynes, Journalist

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The tardy policy is a system created to train kids not to be late to class by using what some may consider to be harsh penalties. For each quarter of the school year (around 45 days), students receive consequences for each tardy they have in a class. With each tardy a student gets, a parent receives an automated phone call and the teacher talks to the student.

  Students are allowed a limit of three tardies per class before actual restrictions are put in place. Once that student reaches a third tardy, they automatically receive an entire day of in-house suspension. Not just one period for the class they were late to, but a whole day.

  If the student is tardy after that, totaling four, they are then suspended for one day. Each tardy after that, the student adds on another day of (out of school) suspension.

  Although it is reasonable to punish a student for purposely missing class, there are some things that keep a student back that they are not to blame for. The school’s handbook states that teachers may not keep students in class, causing them to be late to another. Unfortunately this rule is not always followed.

  This policy also does not this take into account our shortened class times. In most classes, there is not enough to time to finish the lesson, causing the students to stay after to hear the rest of the information or to grab their homework, which leads to tardies in other classes.

  Another way upperclassmen are late is when they return back from lunch. Most days, as you are coming back in to the freshmen building, the gym doors are locked. This leads a student to either rush around to the front office or wait until another student inside sees the horde of desperate students outside and unlocks the doors for them. Students leave rocks in the door, so they can still exit the building, but come back in time for class. This ends up just being a guessing game, as there is no definite locking schedule.

  This year, I received my first in-house detention. Although I had previously been late my past two years, I had never gotten in trouble for it. I received it for being late to my 5th hour class, the one directly after lunch. I did not skip class, nor did I show up to class at an unreasonable time missing any important information. I received a phone call home after that day explaining I was late, but I was not aware of my in-house status.

  The next day in my 1st hour class, I was pulled out in the middle of a lesson to the front office. I was told I had in-house at the end of the week, and of course, I was appalled. I was missing a whole day of learning for being late to one class. Three times. Over a 45 day period.

  I was aware I made a mistake by being late, but how does missing all my classes justify these actions?

  The office handed me a paper that, right off the bat, conveyed what the school assumes was clear directions. They used bold letters and underlined sentences, as if I needed it to be amplified to me on what to do. They made sure to let me know to bring any books I may need (multiple times), and to fill out my assignment sheet on the back (which they never checked).

  It stated on the paper that this rule was made to help keep discipline, but I figure I have at least a little bit of it by the fact that I can take AP classes and keep up with the work; nor does any other student being late show that they are undisciplined. They are still attending school for their education.

  The day of in-house I showed up promptly on time to room 12. This room was small, white, and isolated; the only posters hanging were full of rules and regulations. Each of the desks were facing the wall to discourage communication.

  Immediately, the teacher explained that a new rule was in place – any student who had a cell phone on them must give it up to be placed in a ziplock bag and put away in a cabinet. If a student was caught with one, they would be suspended for three days.

  The first teacher in the room went around collecting phones. One student had put a case in his bag in which the teacher assumed it was a cell phone, even after the student said repeatedly he didn’t even own one. This caused such a ruckus that security was called to deal with the “troublesome” student hiding his property.

  In the end it turned out that there, in fact, was no phone.

  Most of the day was spent sitting at the desk attempting to do homework. There were three laptops available to use, which helped somewhat with the homework, but it was impossible to do some of my homework.

  I had no idea how to do it, as I was missing the lessons during the day. The lessons that I attend tend to be high-pace, making it hard to catch up with any missing work. In some cases, teachers decided to change the homework on later in the day, so I had to grab it and redo the correct homework the following Monday.

  Throughout the day we had three figures of authority watching over us, each with a different attitude. As the teachers shuffled in, students would shuffle in at times if they only had in-house for one period. It seemed to have a constantly changing atmosphere.

  My final thought on in-house? It was a waste of time. Students should not be missing out on their education because they are tardy to class. In-house treats these average students as if they are disobedient on a deeper level, which may cause kids to act up, because what’s the point in trying if you are just punished anyway?

  In a way, in-house is more destructive than just a simple punishment.

9 Comments

9 Responses to “The Flaws Of The Tardy Policy”

  1. Alyvia Briscoe on January 10th, 2018 9:25 pm

    I completely agree! I got in-house last year from being late to Student Council (one of the times I was late, I was taking my little brother to school), and all it did was cause problems. It interfered with a test that I had that day, and made me fall behind in my other classes. And honestly, being in in-house felt like more of a day off than a punishment.

    [Reply]

  2. Axel on January 19th, 2018 8:19 am

    I like the article and I also like how the total of the article matches with the picture.

    [Reply]

  3. Jazmine Cook on January 19th, 2018 8:23 am

    I agree! It is a waste of time it does no one justice. Students miss out on class and their teachers have to take extra time out of their day to get work for their students. Then the student has to teach themselves the lesson because they are missing class. I feel there should be some punishment if the student is late on purpose but to pull a student out of class for being late makes no sense.

    [Reply]

  4. Ana on January 19th, 2018 8:29 am

    I agree; in- house is honestly not the greatest idea on punishing a student for being tardy. You just miss classes, and fall behind. Also, if you don’t understand something, who do you ask? The teacher isn’t there to explain. Then the next day you have to turn in the assignments, but if you didn’t understand them you’re just going to have to not turn it in because you missed the lesson for being in in-house.

    [Reply]

  5. Ronni Spaulding on January 19th, 2018 8:48 am

    I like that you often write about situations that can really relate to the students. I like this article because you really say how you feel without it being rude, and you make a good point by using logical examples that you, and other students have experienced.

    [Reply]

  6. Emily Roberts on January 19th, 2018 1:36 pm

    I like the way you were able to speak your mind on a personal experience that you had, without using too much opinion. I also liked that you did not lose the purpose of the article and ramble off onto needless tangents. Great job.

    [Reply]

  7. Darcy on January 19th, 2018 1:37 pm

    I absolutely loved this article. So many of the points you made are valid and crucial to consider: as someone who has had to cross the entire campus in four minutes, as well as pack up from the previous class, I know how difficult it can be. Many teachers also have a “the bell doesn’t dismiss you” policy, which can make the shortened periods even more difficult to abide by. I feel as though the consequences for being late are rather extreme, especially considering that I’m an AP/honors/college student with all A’s.

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  8. Lilly C on January 19th, 2018 2:09 pm

    Great article. Principal should read this. Love the opening picture. I’m glad someone can finally relate; I thought I was the only one.

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  9. Andrew Mosley on January 19th, 2018 2:12 pm

    I agree with this so strongly! I never went to in house but if I get one more tardy I will. Classes come from near and far. The far ones take longer then the near ones because you have to walk behind slow people or the fact I am inactive I can’t keep up with this pace and by the time I get to class I’m out of breath and almost gonna have an asthma attack.

    [Reply]

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