Eye of the Editors: TARDY POLICIES
The lack of consistency in the tardy policies at DBHS is wrong. There should be a strict and uniform policy across campus.
March 21, 2017
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A student arrives to class a few minutes early, but decides to get up and use a tissue to combat their sniffling nose-a bodily function that the student has no control over. However, the bell rings while the student is away from their desk, and is marked late by the teacher.
This illogical event isn’t a rare occurrence at Diamond Bar High School, as the enforcement of tardy policies vastly differs from class to class, since some teachers pardon students who stroll in five minutes late, while others mark students for rushing in a couple of seconds late. Such inconsistencies lead to students taking advantage of lenient teachers, thus establishing a need for all DBHS teachers to enforce a more uniform and overall stricter tardy policy.
Missing a few minutes of class may not seem crucial to a student, but when other students notice their classmates arriving late without being marked down, a domino effect occurs. Students begin coming to class increasingly late, abusing the teacher’s lenient policy and distracting the rest of the class during a lesson or test.
Enforcing a stricter tardy policy will combat this problem of students increasingly arriving to class late. However, the stricter policy should also be realistic and reasonable. For example, it shouldn’t include marking a student late for not sitting in their seat when the bell rings. Some teachers mark students late for talking to a classmate, stapling papers or sharpening a pencil when class starts. This punishment is illogical, since the students are on time, if not early, to class.
In addition, a bias toward students who regularly arrive to class on time exists on campus. In some classrooms, a student who normally arrives on time won’t be marked tardy if they occasionally are late by a few minutes; however, a student who is normally late will be marked if they arrive right after the bell. This bias transmits a message of inequality, since both students should be held accountable for their tardiness.
Although some students have classes from opposite sides of campus, the six minute passing period is sufficient for them to reach their next class–there should be no rational reason why some are regularly late. Lengthening passing period will only cause an increase in late students, as they will have a false measure of time and assume that they have more time to get to class.
However, the tardy policy for zero and first periods should account for bad road conditions, such as rain. Marking students late for a reason out of their control is unfair. Arriving late due to heavy rain doesn’t deserve the same punishment as arriving late for oversleeping. In special circumstances in which students are affected by external factors, the tardy policy must account for those cases and provide leeway.
To decrease student tardiness, the enforcement must be reasonably and uniformly renovated on the side of increasing strictness.