‘Every class matters’ policy now in place

New tardy policy implemented will give students lunch detention


Edie Himmer

The new tardy policy looks to fix unexcused class absences and tardies.

“Lunch detention” is a phrase that piqued the interest of several students when the announcement released The school administration has implemented a new tardy policy involving lunch detentions for the remainder of this school year and into the future. The phrase used to describe the policy in the weekly ROAR newsletter is, “every day matters, and every class matters.” If a student has three tardies in a single class, they’re given a note for lunch detention. 

The first issue with this policy is that teachers tend to vary when it comes to marking students late. Some teachers do not mark a tardy for coming into class right after the bell, but others do. Students may be more or less worried about being late to a class depending on who the teacher is and how they do attendance. 

For example, some teachers will not blame students if they are late because they were in line for the bathroom, but others will tell them to plan their time better. Several teachers I have had, including substitutes, are more lenient with their first period classes when it comes to tardies. It is unlikely that this policy will change that. Teachers will still be the ones making the decision and chronically late students will still use their time the same way.

Additionally, it is confusing that the administration would implement this policy so late into the school year. Some students tend to get impatient and distracted when it comes to school in the spring, so who is to say they would not skip lunch detention anyways? Especially for seniors, being close to the end of the year and their graduation, it is unclear how this policy will help them at this point in the year. Due to the fact that a student would have to get three tardies in a week in order to receive lunch detention, we will still see plenty of students arriving late to class.

As someone who does not get unexcused tardies, this policy feels targeted towards students who leave campus during lunch and are late to return, who wander the halls, or otherwise do not prioritize being in class. I do not see how lunch detention will solve this issue, and I am interested to see if people obey it. Although, the idea of an unexcused tardy actually meaning something, as opposed to when there were no real consequences, is an improvement. 

This is a step towards improving overall attendance and punctuality, but there are still some questions. What happens during lunch detention? Is it a homework period or will students be lectured about their behavior? Were teachers consulted about the issue, and what did they think? How is this policy fair to students who are late in the morning for reasons out of their control?

Altogether, this policy is unproductive. It has been implemented too late into the school year for students to take it seriously, and it will not change the fact that teachers will still go by their own rules. A possible solution could include a system specifically for students who are constantly late for reasons they were able to control, because it seems that is the goal of this policy anyways. At the end of the day, students who do not care will continue to be late and avoid penalties. This policy will only apply in extreme situations, and its effectiveness remains to be seen.