By Maia Johnson
Whetstone’s tardy policy has been a controversial topic ever since the implementation of issued Wednesday schools as punishment for being tardy five times in a single semester. This happened at the beginning of the second semester, and there are pros and cons to its establishment.
For one, it makes sense that the policy should encourage students to get to class on time sooner. Principal Routzong explains that “some of the kids were tardy to school, but they were here! At like 7:10, 7:15, you see them in the halls, see them in the cafeteria and they’re just not going to first period, they’re going when they feel like it. Because I see kids that circle the building between 7:23 and [second period], and they just walk the building, they don’t go to class. And so it was for more of those scenarios. And some kids that just routinely come late.”
So, ideally, the policy should be motivating for lagging students, and in some ways it is and has been. But it has also been a driving force for students to come later rather than sooner, and here’s why.
The five-strike policy only counts against first period offenses, meaning that if a student is tardy to first period, that’s one strike, but if he or she is tardy to any period second through eighth, they are in the clear. So isn’t this encouraging students who already know they’re running a minute or two late to just… wait until second period? They’re not punished, but they’re missing out on a period of learning.
And how about for students whose tardiness is a result of varying factors, such as apathetic parents or unreliable transportation? Is it fair for them to endure punishment for genuinely trying to get to school on time along with the hall wanderers? Or is it insubordination just the same?