Tardy & Absent Policy: Stay or Go?


Photo by Jenna Williams

Kearstin Herring showing off some of our tardy passes that the school will give you.

Jenna Williams, Staff Writer

Did you wake up late this morning and know you were going to be tardy? It’s your first time oversleeping and you think it’s okay; it happens to many kids and nothing has happened to you before, right? You probably ended up thinking, ‘‘I’ll go ahead and go to school, nothing will happen.” Once you arrive at school, you receive lunch detention as a consequence of being late, even just this once.

This narrative is a reality for many students at West. Even if it’s your first time ever being late, if you’re tardy to first block, you get a lunch detention. The administration established the policy to reduce the number of tardies in first block, but many students believe that it encourages them to miss first block altogether to avoid the lunch detention.

“I think that it affects students at the beginning of class and will eventually take a major toll on their grade if the behavior is continued,’’ said sophomore Bryanna Dickens. “I’ve been late a couple of times and missed out on things that are discussed in the beginning of class.”

Dickens talks about how she has been late a few times and it took her a day or two to catch up on her work. Being late or skipping school on a day-to-day basis can take a toll on a number of things. When you’re late, you often start to get behind in class and do not fully understand what’s happening in the mornings. The tardy policy, in this case, can help students know that being late is putting them behind and that they need to wake up earlier and get to school on time. 

“For the kids that don’t have their own way of transportation, their parents have a hard time getting them to school on time and have to rely on a friend to get them in the mornings,” said senior Kayden Cupid.

Some kids in high school don’t always have a way to school. Either you miss the bus and your parent has to take you, you have to bum a ride from a friend, or you simply just skip school that day. Cupid thinks it’s unfair to the ones that might’ve had a rough start to their day causing them to be late and then once they get to school they get in trouble for something they might not have been able to control.  

“I believe it should be changed in a way where you have a conversation about why we’re tardy instead of immediately giving us an unnecessary punishment,” said senior Kayden Cupid. 

It seems that admin thinks this rule will give us more motivation to get to school on time. However, that is a very controversial topic. Like stated above there are multiple factors that could contribute to tardiness. Although arriving on time is expected, appreciated, and very important, we also need to normalize the fact that being tardy once in a while is okay too. Some think that a punishment or consequence should be served to the ones that are constantly tardy instead of the ones that are only tardy every once in a while.