Don’t be late, or you’ll get what’s coming


Noah Lenkin, Staff Writer

The bell rings and the teacher looks around and sees your seat is empty. You rush down the hall and once you get to class the teacher gives you a disappointed look and issues an unexcused tardy. You plead with your teacher that there was traffic, or your mom called you, but you are told to sit down and begin working.

Students almost always end up with an unexcused tardy at one time or another. Sometimes, it may be justified, and sometimes it may not, but it is more than likely than not in your high school career you will be handed that dreaded tardy.

Some students believe this is an unjust policy. “I believe it is unfair because sometimes you can be one second late and get an unexcused tardy. To me, it doesn’t make any sense. I think that if you get three unexcused tardies, instead of the punishment being an unexcused absence, it should be a detention,” junior Ryan Meyer said.

Other students believe it is a fair policy. “Don’t put yourself in a situation where you will be late all the time. We should be able to get to class on time. Therefore, I think the policy that three unexcused absences equals a tardy is fair,” said junior Iman Idrissa.

Administrators believe the policy is fair. “We have this policy so students do not interrupt classroom instruction and miss the warm-up part of the day. For the students that come in several minutes late, they disrupt their fellow classmates and draw attention to themselves. Usually, our teachers only give unexcused tardies to the students who are minutes late, not seconds. If we didn’t have this policy, several students would come in late to class and being on time would not matter. Although some students do well with catching up after missing a few minutes of class time, others do not and may fall behind,” Administrator Joseph Mamana said.

This policy is fair because it allows for three mistakes before instituting any real punishment, which is reasonable. As the saying goes, three strikes and you’re out. Also,the policy allows for you to be late one time. One unexcused tardy does not lead to any consequences on your record.

A good way not to be tardy is to allow yourself five full minutes to get to class on time. Sometimes, people hang back to chat with their friends and end up being late to class.

This policy makes sure being late does not develop into a habit. If students could enter class when they pleased without discipline, then they would miss the beginning of class when the objectives for the day are being given.

Being on time for class has real benefits, as it allows you to talk to the teacher before class so you are ready for instruction. If you repeatedly earn unexcused tardies, you are missing crucial classroom lessons.

The three unexcused tardies equals a absence policy is fair because it reasonably allows for mistakes made by students.