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You’re Late!

Elijah Powell, Staff Writer/ Opinion Editor

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To many teachers, being late to school or any classes is a major offense. The significance of punctuality is based on the fact that if you develop a habit of being late during your school days, that habit will continue when you start a job and failure to break that habit will most likely result in your termination from that job. The teachers want us to be on time for everything on our schedules because they care.

 

I understand and never will doubt this truth, but of course there are two sides to every coin, and I am sure many students can attest to this. I remember walking in one day and seeing a line of 20 peers at the attendance office. It was only 8:03 a.m., and as expected, I wasn’t the only one irritated at this.

 

An anonymous source unloaded her anger. “I’ve been late to school because I wake up late or I’m trying to finish homework or a project. Also if I get to school on time but I have to park my car, by the time I walk into school I’m late by maybe a minute or two and they send me to the office. I’m frustrated with how they handle lateness because by the time it takes Mrs. Schuette to write everyone a late pass and stand on the line for 10 minutes I could’ve been to class and marked on time. Especially for gym. The teachers don’t take attendance until about fifteen minutes after the bell rings. Why am I going to stand on line and make myself late when I know I can get to the gym first period and be on time?”

 

Recently, the leniency for students coming into school a few minutes late has died as Mr. Fiscina and Mr. Coyne, who stand at a table at the entrance and check student’s ID’s upon entering, have been cracking down on them. The weather could probably have also been a factor, being that many have had to walk to school during this very frigid last season, but the snow has ended for good now (hopefully) and most of the students I see in the late line are juniors and sophomores, who most likely do not drive cars. The woman who oversees the records of student’s attendance, Mrs. Schuette, told me that she had seen an increase of lateness since the start of 2015, and that the longest line she saw in front of her office this year was 83 students, all late to school. I asked her if the end of winter would begin a decrease in tardies, and she said, “I would hope so but for most of the days that they were really late it was a nice day. It wasn’t raining. It wasn’t snowing…I know that there’s always a back up out here [she points to River Road behind her, which is usually packed with traffic in the mornings] so if they go through I know they get stuck in that too, but they just maybe need to leave a tad bit earlier. They may get here on time. They need to update their schedules a little bit.”

 

Another factor could be that the clocks in the school are around five minutes behind the clocks on everybody’s phones. For instance, right now as I am writing this, the school’s time says it is 11:24, while my phone says it is 11:30, but if anything this means students have a buffer to keep them from being late in the first place.

 

Mr. Coyne also felt that tardies have increased this year, though he knew not from where the epidemic originated. He also said that students from all grade levels have contributed to this, aside from the usual habitual offenders. “Some think because we have gym first period, that we can be late to school. If you’re late to school, you’re late to school, it doesn’t matter what period you have first.”

 

I asked him what advice he’d give to students struggling with punctuality, and he answered, “Two alarm clocks. You set one with the early one, and then another one for the snooze.”

 

He added that preparing for the morning the night before can also help to alleviate students’ rush in the mornings, allowing them a better chance of showing up to school on time.

 

So the solution in the end is simply not to be late. I cannot speak for any other students, but I know that if I was late and my mother didn’t call the school to let them know I had a legitimate excuse, it was probably my own fault. Yes, students have a heavy workload and extra curricular activities to worry about after school, but in the end all of that serves to prepare the youth for the real world in which time management is not only key, but expected. This is not to say that no adult laborer has ever been late before, but if the lateness is frequent enough, the lateness is addressed. So basically, there is no room for excuses. But I’m sure someone reading this will think of something.

 

Stay prompt, my friends.

Peace.

 

 

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The student news site of New Milford High School, New Milford, New Jersey
You’re Late!