Late Again? Get To School!
By Dylan Muller
Illustration by Derek Horn
When we get off the bus in the morning and walk though the doors of Jamesville-DeWitt High School, the average student does not look to the left into the attendance office. But Mary Brayman, the “attendance lady,” is there at 7:45 a.m. anyway, ready to catch any tardy students who walk in like they’re on a casual Sunday stroll through the park.
The attendance policy is printed in the Code of Conduct handbook distributed in homeroom at the start of the year. However, few students read this. “Haven’t we been here long enough? We all know the rules plenty by now,” says sophomore Amanda Pauls.
But, in case anyone has forgotten the late policy, or never knew it in the first place, here is a re-fresher: arriving late to school three times in a semester will result in a 3 o’clock detention, as well as the loss of driving privileges for juniors and seniors. And this year a note from parents, forged or valid, won’t save you.
A written authorization from your doctor is the only valid excuse that someone will even bother listening to. That means a note from your parent saying you went to the doctor is unacceptable.
“We have tightened the [late] policy up in order to enforce the rules and become more disciplined,” says J-DHS Principal Paul Gasparini. According to Mr. Gasparini, the policy’s overall goal is to drastically reduce the number of students that are late to school, in hopes that this will result in higher attendance and thus better test scores in the classroom.
However, many students are incredibly dissatisfied with the new rules. “Our parents wouldn’t lie to school staff. A parent’s signature should be more than valid for an excuse for a tardy,” says junior Connor Head.
Zack Kaufman calls the rule “ridiculous.” He believes that if students return to school after an appointment they shouldn’t be penalized. “If the doctor forgets to give you a note, then what are you suppose to do?” he asks. “It’s our choice to come to school,” he says.
One student who agrees with this policy is Matt Muller. “I don’t mind the rules,” he says. “We have been following them for quite some time now. We all maintain the ability to be able to arrive to school on time.”
As a student who has been late this year and in the past, senior Tim Snyder says, “Now that this year’s rules have gotten even stricter, I’ll try my best to be here on time.”
In order to avoid this whole conversation in the first place, physical education teacher and hall monitor Jeff Ike says that his students need to set their alarms “20 frickin’ minutes earlier and just get here.”