Conflicting opinions over the new attendance policy

Some say it teaches responsibility and discipline, others say it’s unfair.


Illustration by Hannah Lesner

Abby Williams, Managing Editor

Our news staff is undecided whether we believe the new attendance policy is a good idea or not. A majority of the staff does not support the new attendance policy, but a small amount of us agree with it.

Some of us agree with the policy for multiple reasons. The new policy gives students a sense of responsibility, helps fix truancy issues, and gives students insight into their future jobs.

Most of the staff, however, disagrees. They oppose the policy for reasons such as believing the tardy policy is not being fair on students, who are late for reasons out of their control, believing students are being punished for being sick, and feeling that students are pressured into going to school, even if they aren’t feeling well.

The supporters of the policy believe it puts more responsibility onto students and puts them in charge of their attendance. There are now consequences for consistently being late or absent without a good reason, which will help cut down on truancy problems. The supporters believe students should be responsible for their own attendance, and the old attendance policy did not hold students accountable.

Another reason some of our staff supports the new policy is because it will give students some insight into their future jobs. When we have jobs, we have to be ready and be there on time. If you are late too often, you will be fired. The supporters believe this is what the school is trying to teach us through the attendance policy.

The supporters think there are a lot of misconceptions and misunderstandings regarding the attendance policy, such as not completely understanding what counts against you and what doesn’t, and that is what is causing so many people to oppose it.

Despite this, a majority of our staff does not support the policy. One of the reasons for this is the tardy policy. The opposer of the policy say the tardy policy can be unfair toward students whose parents drive them to school and are often late. They believe if a student knows they are going to have a repeating issue regarding being tardy, they should be allowed to have an exception that can be worked out with the school.

Another reason some of our staff does not support the policy is their understanding of sick days. Many members of our staff have stated a major reason they don’t support the new policy is because they think being sick with something other than COVID-19 will count against them. Not everyone has enough time or money to go to the doctor every time they get sick, so they will not always have a doctor’s note to excuse them. The opposition to the policy say that it could be causing students to feel pressured to go into school while they are sick in order to keep it from counting against them. They believe the policy “punishes students for being sick” and that the school should be lenient about sick days, especially since we are in a pandemic.

The attendance policy is opposed by our staff a lot more than it is supported, but multiple students have cited incorrect or misunderstood information about the policy as to why they oppose it. The supporters of the policy think that if people who did not support the policy re-read its details, then they’d potentially change their opinion.