Is the New BCCHS Tardy Policy Putting Your Graduation at Risk?

Daniel Gomez, Opinion Editor

I have to confess that when I heard about the new tardy policy, I thought it was some outlandish rumor or blown out-of-proportion interpretation of some obscure tardy rule.

This talk of a new tardy policy seemed to have sprung up during the beginning of the semester back when the first academy days started. I remember when it first started as small talk and then turned into the class asking the teacher about this mysterious new policy.

Eventually, seniors started to worry and it seemed like everyone was stuck wondering why this new tardy policy was crafted in the first place. 

I’m of the opinion that this new tardy policy, at least for the moment, is more biased toward seniors. We can all admit that students who are more chronically absent from class are the main problem and are even the main target of the policy it seems.

But that means that if students are just tardy or absent accidentally and that student is punished by being removed from the class, that student now has to fight against the system to get their class back. It just seems expressly cruel to have a student crawl up the ladder of administrators who can give them their classes back.

When this point was brought up to students I interviewed, they seemed to think the same, and BCCHS student Harold Amaya (11) stated, “I would feel very disappointed if it was my fault (such as sleeping in), but if it wasn’t in my control, then I would complain to the school saying that I couldn’t do anything in that situation.” The student body as a whole is in danger of these wrongful removals from class, and this just adds to the stress of already being late or absent.

Students interviewed echoed the same sentiment. Angela Ortiz (10) said, “They are adding this uncalled-for pressure to be early when things happen and sometimes it’s something that can’t be changed.”

Picture this, a student has overslept and now is stressing walking out their door wondering what they forgot and what they have, and then they realize that they have a couple of tardies already in their period 5. Now that student has to worry if they will be kicked out of their class, and students just do not deserve this unnecessary pressure and sense of self-doubt. 

A wall of clocks (image: Depositphotos)

But now, on the other hand, we all know that some students can show a blatant disregard for some of the tardy rules, favoring a few more minutes of sleep over class, and they even start to form a habit of it.

If there is a lot of evidence pointing to the fact that students ignore the old tardy policy then we can all see how it holds some merit, as teachers and staff alike have had to deal with the mountains of tardies they receive in the early morning.

The administration tries to limit the number of unexcused tardies students can have because they want kids to treat school with respect.

At first, they worked on the simple rule that all students could have only 10 unexcused absences before they got into real trouble with officials. But as time went on, people were fine with getting detention or getting their parents called, so the administrators were tasked with creating a new policy, one that would help teachers if they saw that a student with no regard for the class and no regard for being there on time and present.

So having this huge undertaking, it was obvious that the ideas they had would not always please everyone. So please have some leniency when it comes to these new rules and their implementation.

We have seen both sides and the reasoning behind these choices. Students think the idea of schools kicking a kid out of a class because of tardies is illogical. But we have also seen that it is a tall task for administrators to implement any new tardy policies.

You’re late! (image: Depositphotos)

So in making those decisions, they might make a rule that will be reworked, but for the time being, we need these rules to be the foundation for rules that will come later.  Students were asked if these new policies really motivated them, and these responses really shine a light on how kids feel.

Angela Ortiz (10) stated, “I think just the regular tardies and detention is working fine and still helps implement the discipline the administration is trying to have, but getting kicked out of class is uncalled for and is going too far.” 

Harold Amaya (11) added, “The policy doesn’t really motivate me in any way regardless, because I do know when to wake up.”

These new policies seem to just be empty platitudes in an argument between more restrictions or fewer restrictions. So I’d like to end this with some words that students had to say to the administrators. 

I asked our students that were interviewed, “What would you say to administrators or staff in hopes of changing anything?” Angela Ortiz (10) said, “I would say that this is not fair and should be changed. The main focus for the school is to learn and denying students that privilege just because they are late does not sound fair.“  Harold Amaya (11) said, “I would have to say, listen to what students have to say, and try to get an understanding of what they have to say.”

I think we all should have a little more understanding of both sides and I hope this article provided just that.