Should Unfair Tardy Policies be Reconsidered?

Adam Bihi, News & Opinion Editor

Tardy policies have been the bane of many chronically late students. The official FCPS tardy policy is that if you are late to class three times then you will receive a referral which will result with your parents being called, detention, and possible suspension if there are more to follow after the third.
Although these policies might seem fair at first, you have to take into consideration that this year we have the biggest student population in the 73 years that FCHS has operated. Also when you take into account some strict teachers will refuse to let you inside of the classroom even if you are one second late, it’s fair to say that some policies should be reconsidered and possibly changed.
I asked fellow students and some faculty members about their feelings regarding these tardy policies and this is what they had to say.
Ms. Nawal Kassem (Gym Teacher) said, “If you’re early you’re on time, if you’re on time you’re late, if you’re late, don’t be.”
Fawaz Omar (10) remarked, “I believe that it is unfair. You have a designated time to be in class before the bell rings, and if you aren’t in class at that time, it’s your fault. If they ever change the policies, I believe that it will benefit everybody in the end.”
Chandi Kanhai (10) was eager to share his views. He said, “Back at Luther Jackson Middle School, we had this thing called tardy sweeps when a special bell was rung and all teachers closed the doors and the administrators would go and round up every single kid that was in the halls and take them to the cafeteria and call their parents and get a referral, they would even check the bathrooms. I saw this one kid who was about to enter his classroom two seconds before a tardy sweep and the teacher closed the door on him and he was taken by an administrator to the cafeteria. I thought that seemed a little too extreme because of how big my middle school was. It would be hard for some people to avoid the enormous amount of kids and try to get to their classes which would be hard for them.”
The tardy policies have not been helpful to most students, who have felt that if these policies were more lenient, then we would have a much happier student body and administrators would have so much stress cut out of their daily routines. I think that the time in between classes should increase to seven minutes, a time I believe will filter out the students who are just barely late to class.
Also students should be rewarded for being on time rather than being punished for being late. Teachers shouldn’t have to take time out of their daily class plan to correct a student who’s late, one whose actions show they don’t care enough about the class. Teachers need to quickly neutralize the situation and get it out of the way so that they can continue with their lesson.
If you have a suggestion about how to resolve this issue, email us at [email protected]. It could make a big difference if you try.

Chandi Kanhai (10) experiences agony after being late to Mrs. Johnson’s Algebra 2 Honors class.
(Photo by Adam Bihi)