Tardy Lockouts increase as number of late students steadily grows

Process meant to teach students important workplace readiness skill


Tishie Nyitray

Receiving the tardy slip, junior Dani Hernandez receives their first tardy of the year. Over the past two weeks dozens of studnets have been caught in the tardy lockouts. “Students are literally trying to get to class, we want to be there, but if we are just a couple seconds late we get punished,” junior Dani Hernandez said. “I think that depending on where the student is coming from there should be some sort of leeway to not get punished the same way students who are actively trying to not go to class.”

Tishie Nyitray, Editor in Chief

As part of continued efforts to ensure that all students are attending their class periods for the entire session, administrators have conducted two tardy lockouts with more planned for the semester. The increased focus on lockouts is because of an increase from 3% to 30% for tardy infractions.

“It’s a workplace readiness skill,” Principal Donna Levy said. “You’re getting in your seat and being ready to work is the same as you coming to work on time. If we’re going to be a career and tech academy, we need to teach you good workplace readiness skills.”

Through this approach, the administration says they’re seeing an improvement in the number of tardies school-wide. 

“Since our last tardy lockout, I have noticed that the number of tardies, especially the first-period numbers, have gone down,” Assistant Principal Cameron Roehm said. “It’s not all the way better. I don’t think it will ever get to zero. We need to put structures back in schools to make sure that kids are following the rules.”

Some students believe the number of tardy lockouts and policies to be excessive.

“I understand the tardy policy and why it was put into place so that students are in class and are listening to the teacher when time starts,” junior Dani Hernandez said. “But I think it’s gone to an extreme, to a point where if the door closes, you just can’t go to class. We’re taking students out for tardies, we’re taking students out for dress code, we’re taking students out for all these rules. And the whole point is for them to be educated and have more time in the classroom.”

However, some students see the benefits of lockouts, especially early in the school year.

“I would understand if students were often late towards the beginning of the year, but were already a couple of months into the year,” junior Justice Sidney said. “Students should have gotten used to how long it takes to get from class to class by now. Also, the tardy lockouts only happen periodically so it doesn’t seem disproportionate to how many students are tardy every class.”

Some teachers believe tardy lockouts give insight into the reasons students might be late.

“I don’t think that lockouts themselves are the best way to improve students’ punctuality, but I do think they can help us explore what is,” English 9/10 teacher Kristina Haley said. “Rather than just being a number on a screen, lockouts give school administration a personal point of contact with tardy students. From that, they can figure out which students may need help and what the most common contributors to lateness are.”

The administration believes the tardy lockouts are a necessary way to teach students timeliness and consideration for others.

“The tardy lockouts are not meant to punish them,” Roehm said. “It’s meant to help the other students in their class because if a student walks in late, let’s say they walk in three minutes late and the teacher has already started now the teacher has to go back to their grade book and waste a minute or two of their time to mark the tardy. That can take away other students’ focus, so you’re taking away from their lesson just because you’re late. You have to think of the other students and other people that you’re affecting.”