Editorial: BSGE’s New Lateness Policy Reply

I enjoyed reading
Kristen Spang’s
editorial on the school’s
lateness policy. It’s
nice to know that we
can voice our opinions
openly in the school
newspaper. I wanted to
offer some perspective
on the issue and discuss
other aspects of the
policy.
To understand
this policy we should
first look at the policy
that existed before. Prior
to the current system,
when we showed up at
8:05 or later, we were
forced to miss first period
and stay in the cafeteria.
In the cafeteria,
we could do our homework,
read newspapers,
and eat breakfast. Not
only was this an ineffective
punishment, but it
was also an incentive to
be late! Students would
waste time around the
corner, get breakfast leisurely
across the street,
and come in
late on purpose
because
the punishment
was that
we didn’t have
to go to first
period. Surely
one would
think that not
many students
would behave
this way and
would understand
that
they were jeopardizing
their futures, however,
lateness was chronic,
especially among the
older students. In some
instances, only half of
senior classes were in
their seats at 8:00AM.
The school
came up with a policy
knowing it was not perfect
but whose purpose
was to act as a deterrent
to lateness. Immediately,
student lateness was
cut down by as much as
80%! I remember seeing
one senior running
down 36th avenue at
7:58AM to make sure he
was on time. That was
when I thought maybe
this policy is a good one.
Now I agree
that students should use
their own judgment and
be responsible and act
responsibly however
when we relied on that
thinking we had a big
problem with lateness. I
believe that in this case
it is better that we deter
kids through punishment
even if they don’t understand
why than it is
to have a school culture
that encourages lateness.

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