Maybe you should ‘Start on time’

Rae'Jeen King, Reporter

Three years ago, there were approximately 36,000 tardies per year at West High School. This staggering number is why the policy Start on Time was brought upon the school faculty.

The faculty came up with a way for students to have the realization that being on time prepares you for important things and helps students prioritize their time.

Jennifer Ehrheart, the Attendance and Special Program Assistant Principal, has been working at West for about four years and she when asked about the tardy policy she said, “I was one of the people who originally created it.”

Ehrheart also said that the policy implemented a 90 percent drop in tardies that students were receiving.

The policy states that if a student is late to a class without an excused pass then they need to report to the tardy station. This tardy pass means that a student needs to serve their lunch detentions either the day of or the following day if it’s after lunch.

At first if students did not serve their lunch detention they went straight to in school suspension (ISS). Now if students fail to serve their lunch detention then they have work detail, which is when you stay after school to pick up trash around West for about 40-45 minutes.

If students miss work detail, then they get a pass from a security guard saying that they now have ISS. The security guard calls their legal guardian and lets them know about their student failing to serve lunch detention, and work detail.

“You’re actually getting an extra chance to get it done. That’s actually more fair than the way I set it up,” Ehrheart said.

Stacey Lawrence, a safety security specialist, has been working at West for approximately 22 years, and says that the policy is a “Very good thing for the students, I think it should be enforced even more stringently,” Lawrence stated.

“The majority of the students like the policy, but the students that don’t like to be on time dislike the policy,” Lawrence says. Lawrence feels that on a good day he hands out about 15 to 30 tardies, and on a bad day he hands out about 60.

Meehadiya Deshields-Lawson, a 16-year-old junior says that she is not very fond of the policy. “Our lunch time is already short, because the lunch period runs from 10:25 to 11:05, which is about 40 minutes,” Lawson said. She’s been prone to having more than a few detentions. She also said usually when she has to serve detention she doesn’t get enough time to get food due to students cutting in line and how many students have to eat lunch. Lawson says that the policy isn’t fair. “When I want to go off campus and get food, I come back and it’s a couple minutes late because the lunch period isn’t long enough,” she adds.

Lawson says she cannot eat in her classes. So after she has detention she can’t go get the food she wanted to get before detention due to the long lines, and she doesn’t have time to eat anything or she’ll receive another tardy slip.

Lawson thinks students should have at least three chances to serve detention if they’re a couple minutes late. She thinks the school should consider not giving out detentions unless they’re 10-15 minutes late for class. She also said the school should focus more on the students that skip class instead of students that are a minute late to class.

This is the policy that improves student’s time prioritizing for future careers, events, and worrying more about their education than socializing. Some may not realize it now but soon in the future they’ll learn to ‘Start On Time’.