Teachers Respond to Tardies


Angel Brown

Admission slip marked for a tardy.

The 2020-2021 school year has been one of fluctuating school presence, students constantly move in between being in person and being online, and this has caused a lot of disregard towards tardies and absences.

Students have been showing up late to class more than in previous years, and it’s not always easy for them to get away with it.

“I have had some students try to lie to me about why they are late,” English teacher Ashlyn Pennington said. “They claim to be talking to a teacher or an Assistant Principal. I always tell them to go and get a pass from them or tell them that I’m going to call and ask the person/principal. If they are telling the truth, they are fine with me calling or going and getting the note; if they are lying, they always come back with a tardy.”

On the other end of the spectrum, some teachers don’t do much about it because it has been an odd year.

“I have dealt with a lot of tardies, but for the most part I kind of just let them go,” OnRamps history teacher Eddy Prather said. “There are all kinds of reasons nowadays with there being a pandemic going on. If they’re signed up to be in person, then they need to be in class, but because of all of the excuses, I’ve stopped counting them absent as well.”

The tardy policy doesn’t seem to be mentioned very often, and teachers aren’t always aware of how to handle tardiness.

“If we’re going to be brutally honest, because it’s my first year here and there was so much going on, I kind of forgot to ask what the tardy policy was,” algebra teacher Holly Andrews said. “But there is a set group of kids that I think are tardy just because they know I haven’t done anything with it in the past, but for the most part, I feel like people are pretty respectful of class time.”

Class time is important, so oftentimes teachers would rather them sit down and start class rather than spend time to get a pass.

“It [sending a student for a tardy slip] depends on how far past the bell it has been,” chemistry teacher Shayna Reasoner said. “If they show up less than a minute after the tardy bell, I usually just let them come on in. I’d rather them be in class and have that class time than spending the time walking down there to get a slip.”

Next year will be different with absences and tardies, and teachers plan to crack down and control the situation better.

“I think moving into next year, this year has been a lot of grace given across the board,” English teacher Denise Fuller said. “And now they’re having to crack down because we’re getting emails and stuff about making sure we’re writing passes for everything. I feel like we need to reset next year and be consistent.”