South students react to crackdown on A-Block tardiness

By Sammie Levin
Published: September 2009

New school year, new principal, new rules. One rule in particular has spurred many responses from both students and teachers. The rule focuses on students who come late to their first block classes.

In past years, rules regarding tardiness in the morning were either not clearly stated or not strongly enforced. A simple note from a parent given to the house office could excuse morning lateness.

Now, a new rule has been enacted to provide consequences for students who do not get to their A-Block classes on time.

The rule, as stated in the memo sent to all homeroom teachers, is that “lateness to first block classes will not be excused unless caused by a late school bus or a medical, dental, or legal appointment Medical and dental appointments must be verified with a doctor/dentist note.

A phone call or parent note will not excuse a student’s tardiness to first block.

Students who are less than five minutes late to class must go directly to class, and students who are more than five minute late to their first block must go directly to their House Secretary before going to class. Three unexcused tardies equal 1 unexcused absence.

Teachers are generally in support of this new rule because habitual morning tardiness disrupts learning time and makes for a shorter block.

English teacher Rachel Becker is in strong support of the new rule. “A-Block was a problem last year. People would stroll in late with a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. Some people would come in late every single day, which disrupts the class and is not fair to people who try to be on time, Becker said.

Though Dunkin’ Donuts is delicious and walking around the halls flaunting an iced coffee is just awesome, it can clearly be frustrating to teachers to see students walking in late to their class claiming, “traffic was bad in between sips of coffee.

Junior Alexandra Fen can also see the reason behind the new rule.

“As students we reject the idea of being bound by so many rules; however, being on time to class is not that much to ask for¦the rule is fair and will end up benefiting ourselves, Fen said.

A lot of students do not share Fen’s reasonable view on the matter.

“Sometimes it is hard to get to my first block class right when it starts because I have to go to my gym locker first, and this takes time and being 5 minutes late shouldn’t be a big deal, sophomore Sylvie Evans.

Junior Nate Kropp is in agreement with Evans’ beliefs.

“It should be okay for students to show up late as long as they have a note. You can’t expect a student to have perfect attendance.

Sometimes there are legitimate reasons for being late other than a doctor’s appointment, and if a parent has written a note, then it is clear that the student is not abusing the system, Kropp said.

“If lateness is the issue, then why would the rule be that if you are more than five minutes late you should go to your house office before going to class. Isn’t that just wasting more class time? Kropp said.

The bottom line is, although many students are against this new infringement on their morning schedules, the rule is logical and needs to be accepted and followed to make first block a successful class.
Or maybe we should just build a Dunkin’ Donuts on school property. Problem solved.

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