A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Why do students need tardies for lunch?

Most students have seen it happen or it has had it happen to them. They’re walking to a counselor or to take a test in the math office just as the bell rings on their lunch period. They are forced to get a tardy slip.

I think it’s a very unecessary thing to do because it’s not even a class; it’s literally your own time. How are you going be late to your free time?

Assistant principal Homero Penuelas said everybody gets swiped as a precaution, so they don’t have so many kids in the halls who aren’t supposed to be there. Staff are just making sure students are where they are supposed to be; it’s just a hall sweep.

I completely get that. At the same time, if the school wants the students to have less tardy build ups, then why make students who have lunch get unnecessary tardies?

Many of the students think that if they don’t give their tardy slips to someone, then they don’t count. This is wrong. Rocio Urbano in the attendance office said that if you are swiped in a hall sweep, then it counts just the same as a regular tardy slip for class which affects students attendance in a negative way.

“Three to six tardies is a lunch detention. Nine tardies and up result in an in-school suspension. Any unexcused absence is an afterschool detention,” said Tasheena Thomas in the dean’s office.

I understand that they want to prevent students from ditching class and things of that nature, but I don’t think it’s fair to have my attendance negatively impacted with false tardy slips. If I show you I have lunch, why can’t I carry on with my day peacefully?