5 lates and it’s as if you weren’t there

by Ellie Hughes, Staff Writer

Let’s face it, getting to school on time can make you feel like a contestant in a Spartan Race. 7:50 a.m. may be the time to cross the finish line, but the race to be on time begins way before that.

On your marks, get set, go… Obstacle one, the alarm clock. As your alarm sounds, you tell yourself not to hit the snooze button, exhausted from the solid six hours of sleep you got. By the third sound of alarm, you regain control and you are up and out of bed. You glance at the clock. Obstacle two, full body panic. Fear fogs your mind and prevents any logical thinking. Where is my lunch? Where are my sneakers? Did I print out my English homework? You race through the answers and head for the door. Obstacle three, getting to the school. You make it over the lower tracks, but a train gets you at Boro Hall. You turn down Hamilton Ave and sprint toward the intersection only to be stopped by the crossing guard. Obstacle four, the cattle crowd. You are surrounded by kids walking slower than a snail. You dart left, then right, but there’s no breaking through. With a prayer on your lips, you glance down at your Apple watch. It reads 7:48 a.m.! You are not even in the building. The race is over and you have lost. No one cares how hard you TRIED to get to school on time. You. Are. Late. As you arrive at your first period class, you can only hope that tomorrow will be different because if it is not, you will exceed the number of permissible lates and earn a full on absence. But is that really the best policy?

At the start of this school year, Dr. Parent and Ms. Bacolas raced to change the late policy. Previously, five lates earned you a call home and lunch detention, but now five lates earns you an unexcused absence. While switching the detention out for an absence might seem like a better approach, the student body disagrees. In fact, they feel that the new policy makes being late less of a problem. “I kind of care about my absences, but missing out on lunchtime gossip is the worst,” said a sophomore. When asked about the change a junior remarked, “The lunch detention kept you from leaving campus and grabbing food from town, no one wants to miss out on that.” As more kids gave similar responses, I could only conclude that the new policy is actually making kids more likely to be late which is incredibly counter-productive. I strongly believe missing out on lunch with friends remains a bigger deterrent than racking up absences. So good luck in your race tomorrow and you never know, one small opinion piece in The Echo just might be enough to revsolve the new policy and bring back the old one.