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Tardies are making students later

WED. | 05-25-22 | OPINION

     The sound of my alarm blaring after 30 minutes finally pulls me out of sleep as I groggily open my eyes to glance at the time and see it is 8:09am?! I leap out of bed and pull on the nearest clothing while simultaneously brushing my teeth. I hop downstairs still putting on my shoes, grab my lunch, and sprint out the door. I am in my car by 8:16, but I already feel the sinking sensation in my stomach as I know I can’t make it into class on time. I arrive at school by 8:32 and have to walk all the way from the PAC to the attendance office to receive my tardy pass. 

     I arrive at my first period class in the 300 hall ten minutes later after waiting in the attendance line and trekking halfway across the school. By the time I actually get to class, I have missed more content than if I didn’t get a pass.

     Tardies are in place to keep a record of when students are late to class, but what point do they actually serve, besides making students even later, of course? Each and every day is different and presents a new set of variables that could hinder a

tardy pass

Graphic by Abby Ershadi

student from getting to school exactly on time. For example: the alarm does not go off, traffic is bad, you forgot your lunch, you oversleep, your ride is late, etc. If students are only a few minutes late to class, a tardy pass should be overlooked. 

     The school should be understanding, especially when it gets later into the year. Students are late to school most of the time from doing homework and studying late at night, and oversleeping occurs. There needs to be a sense of understanding because we are all trying to get through school. 

     For students arriving only a few minutes late, it is unfair to have to get a tardy. For the teacher, there is a disruption when the student comes into class and later on they could possibly have to reteach material. 

     Although tardies are annoying, I am not saying that they should be completely disregarded. It is important to make sure that students are coming to class in the morning and not consistently late, but on the infrequent occasion that a student is a few minutes late, a tardy should not be required. 

      A happy medium would be for teachers to leave their doors slightly cracked for the first ten minutes of class, allowing students who are a few minutes late to enter quietly. Then after ten minutes, the doors should be closed completely and students arriving later should be required to get a tardy pass. 

      The most important fact of my argument is that there are many variables in life that can affect the punctuality of a student. I am not trying to make excuses for why students are late or advocate for abolishment of tardies; rather, I just want to raise awareness that students could be trying their  hardest to get to school on time, but still end up a few minutes late. Similarly, over half the school does not drive or ride the bus to school therefore it is not always the students at fault for being late. There have been several occurrences when the buses arrived during the second period and students missed an entire class. 

      Another refutation to my argument would be that it is unfair for other students who are in class on time every day. As a result this must be taken case by case, so if one student is abusing the policy the rest of the class should not have to suffer. This would provide benefits to students who may be running a few minutes behind but also employ the policy for those who take advantage.

     Attendance is indeed one of the most important parts of learning, but there are occasions where students cannot make it to class exactly on time and end up walking in five minutes late. In these situations I think the tardy pass should be exempted because in reality everyone is trying to get to school on time and walking into class a tad late should not be that big of a deal compared to other things such as learning information. 

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