Opinion: New tardy policy

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Student Tony Cipriano’s Jeep Patriot after a long drive to and from school. While this car was purchased under a year ago, it already has over 125,000 miles because of its rigorous journeys.

     This year, NDP has established a new policy on tardiness to ensure that students get to school on time. Students need to get to school on time in order to be fully prepared for exams and assignments.

     It is very common to miss school for whatever reason, but NDP has instituted strict rules that make it difficult for students to follow consistently.

     According to the NDP Handbook, “When a student has accumulated three tardies, he or she will be issued a Wednesday morning detention from 6:30 a.m.-7:30 a.m. Each additional tardy beyond the three tardies will result in an additional Wednesday morning detention.”

     It is very difficult for certain students to be able to arrive to school on time, considering the different locations in which many are located. While some may only need to drive a short street to get to school, some, such as senior Tony Cipriano, need to drive multiple highways.

     “I live 45 minutes from school in North Phoenix, Arizona. Traffic is brutal in the mornings because the freeway is bumper to bumper. I take the back roads which are Carefree Highway and Scottsdale Rd to get to school, but they are still backed up,” said Cipriano.

     Cipriano, who has six tardies this year, has an interesting idea for making the policy more lenient for students: “I think that if you make it into your first class within five minutes of the bell ringing, you should be okay. I think it’s unfair that I walk into my first hour elective not even ten seconds after the bell rings and I get a tardy,” said Cipriano.

     Being less than a minute late to class will not affect any learning in any course, so it should be acceptable to be running slightly late. Disciplinary action should be noticed if teachers recognized that a student is consistently running more than a couple minutes late.

     Although the policy may seem harsh to students, to Tom White, Dean of Men at NDP, it is a fair approach to get kids to school on time. “We understand that there are illnesses, medical visits, and family trips, so that is why we are trying to work with the students as much as possible,” said White.

    “There was no policy for tardiness last year, so this year there has been a decrease in tardies. We evaluate every rule at the end of the year,” said White. There is no doubt that this rule is fixing the issue of students getting to school on time, but change needs to occur for those students who have valid reasons for being tardy.