Kennedy enforces flawed tardy policy
Updated: Aug 27
By Brenda Govea Viramontes, Clarion News Editor
Kennedy Principal Reginald Brown announced a new tardy policy on November 7, 2022 after tardies were incredibly high during the first months of school. Under the new policy: Three to five tardies will earn a student either lunch or after school detention and a call home; Seven tardies will result in Saturday school and a call home. Teachers and staff will assign further consequences to students as necessary.
However, this new policy brings along problems for students who do not have access to reliable transportation. In a recent poll of 60 respondents, a whopping 67% said that someone else drives them to school. Another 12% relies on public transportation. Those students claimed the buses are frequently late, making them tardy for their first class. Only 4% drive themselves to school, and another 4% walk since they don’t have any other form of transportation.
So for the majority of Kennedy students surveyed, getting to school on time for the first or 0 period is out of their control. They are running on someone else’s schedule.
If a majority of students rely on others for transportation, one can only imagine how it might be for the rest of the school. I myself rely on someone else to take me. Whether it’s my parent or public transportation, I also cannot control if I make it on time and that’s not my fault. It’s also not the fault of students who can not get here on time for the reasons listed. In my experience with public transportation there are absolutely times when things do not go as planned. I’ve been late to my first 2 periods of class because the bus I always take did not show up even though it was scheduled to. On a different occasion, the bus was late again, making me late for first period.
What are students’ opinions about how useful this new policy is?
Ryann Downey, Kennedy senior, said “The new policy could really mess with kids' futures, especially if they are late for reasons they cannot control like if their car breaks down or if the bus makes them late.” “It’s idiotic” she added. Another senior, who wished to remain anonymous said, “I want to get here on time, I really do, because I like my first period, but it’s just hard.” The participating students feel as if this policy could still be useful as long as it changes. Specifically, students expressed that the policy should not apply for 0 and 1st periods. “It would just be easier this way. We can get to school without worrying about whether we’re gonna get detention that day because we were a minute late” the same anonymous senior added.
While this new policy may work to decrease tardies during the rest of the school day it is not fair to use this policy for the first period of class. It is not the fault of students who rely on someone else and they should not be punished for it.