The Goal Behind the Tardy Policy and if Students Believe it is Fair

Photo by: Presley Buck

Photo by: Presley Buck

Students having tardies have always been a problem in high schools over the years. After Covid-19 shut down schools in the 2019-2020 school year, it was very apparent that when we went back to school in the late 2020-2021 school year tardies became a greater problem than ever before. Now that we are in the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year, the trend is seeming to continue with tardies. To try and combat this problem, administrators at Prairie have the policy of if you have 3 tardies in one class, you receive a lunch detention…as well as more consequences the more tardies you have. To learn more about students and staff’s feelings about the policy, they were asked questions on the topic.

“When the security guards come into my class with the white slips I be stressin,” said Senior Kieren Sarkela. Like most students, Sarkela would prefer not to receive lunch detentions. Many students realize there are punishments for receiving so many tardies, but for some it just isn’t really changing anything; Tyson Davis, a Junior attending PHS, stated that he has received 4 lunch detentions in the first 3 months of school. “I think the rule should be like 5 tardies…all of my tardies are from my first period teacher because I sleep in,” said Davis.

Some teachers do have slightly different rules than others. Some give a 2 minute leeway after the bell rings (especially if you are coming from across the campus), and some want you in the room by the time the bell does ring. Mrs. Reid, a science teacher, explains why she believes students are tardy: “…it is a combination of last year’s remote learning and when returned to in person students weren’t marked tardy and some sleeping in or not leaving early enough.” This seems to be the case for most students. Mr. Rush, the Dean for Students, explains why this policy was made as well as the importance of students being on time to class. “Right now…there is all sorts of theories about why, but our tardies are terrible. We want to make kids feel like they are being as supported as possible. We really just want to keep kids educated.”

Overall, it is shown that teachers want kids to be in class and prepared on time. With the help of administrators as well as students taking accountability, the policy that has been put in place has shown some progress and will hopefully continue to make a change for the better.