Walpole High Tardy Policy Unfit for High School Students

As term II begins at Walpole High, the tardy count resets once again for students. Students are allowed three tardies per term, and once they reach this limit, students are given detention for each of their next tardies. For each unexcused tardy received after the limit has been reached, students will receive another detention. This policy has seriously affected and upset students, especially this year. 

At 7:24 a.m., the warning bell rings which tells students that they need to report to their A block class for that day immediately. At 7:25 a.m., the first block bell rings and students must be in class at this time. The doors to the school are locked, and any student walking into school as the bell rings is marked tardy.

Problems with this policy are many for the students of Walpole High. One main issue is that the true policy is not even known by all students. The 2021-2022 Student Parent-Handbook outlines tardiness to school as being late to B block, where attendance for the day is taken because of the absence of homerooms. However, when students are late to A block, they receive a tardy for the day as well. 

Although students cannot get more than 3 tardies per term, there are fewer consequences if students are just absent from first block.  Students are more likely to decide to just skip class instead of going in late because any consequences are less likely. When faced with this choice, students will miss out on learning because they want to avoid sitting in detention with other students for an hour after school, which can interrupt their after-school activities or make it harder for students to get a ride home. 

Waking up earlier is not a plausible solution to being tardy to school. Even if students leave their house at the same time every single day, there are too many outside factors that can lead them to be one to two minutes late to school. Detours, traffic, and weather can lead students to be late sometimes.  Students are already waking up early enough for 5 days a week to get to school on time. All of the morning stress administered to students can lead to unsafe driving just so they get to school on time. 

The Walpole High tardy policy has proved to be ineffective in promoting learning at school. Students have begun to resent early school mornings even more than before because they are so worried about possibly being late to school. And with the looming possibility of detention, students would rather just skip class than be tardy.