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New tardy policy fair, if not popular

By Isabella Estrada

Alameda High’s administration has created an extreme tardy policy that went into effect this fall.  Students who are late to their first period class will receive a detention on that same day that they will serve during lunch. If late to fifth or sixth period upon returning from lunch, they will be dealt a detention for the next day, thereby eliminating the privilege of off campus lunch for the day.

After the second week of school, the tardy policy was in effect. While harsh, this policy is effective. The number of students that are late to class has drastically decreased from last year.

Some students call it unfair, because sometimes being a little late may be unavoidable. Calling the policy overboard, some students feel like detention for being late one time just is not fair. Another common argument is that if a student only misses a few minutes of class, why should that person be penalized for the entire lunch period?

The truth is that students should be held accountable for their actions and they should be responsible with their time. If they cannot do that, they need to learn how.

The  policy was a great idea and is working very well. Kids used to come late to class after lunch a lot, but with the threat of a detention, very few students come late. Not only does this affect lunch, but I also noticed for my first period class, kids are almost never late now.

“Last year on average between 90-100 were late per day.  Today as little as 9-30 are late. That is over an 80 percent reduction,” says dean Eric Shawn. With the threat of a detention, very few students skip class or come late.

Lunch tardies have also drastically gone down. “After lunch about 50 students were late, now there are only 10 or [fewer],” says Shawn regarding tardiness after lunch.

“Every time students complain to me, it’s positive feedback,” Shawn says. Observing that it has changed the whole culture of the Alameda High campus, he clearly is happy with how the policy is turning out.

If a student does come late, he/she will learn their lesson and be less likely to do it again. It is not fair to the teacher if students decide not to get to class on time. While I do sympathize with kids who honestly did not mean to be a little late, the policy is working and doing more good than bad.

I am now scared of being late to class, but I guess that is a good thing.

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The Oak Leaf, a product of the journalism class, is a vehicle of student expression and a public forum for the Alameda High School community.