Athens Drive needs to bring back tardy slips


Photos by Roksy Gonzalez-Escobar

Arriving on time to class has always been emphasized. Athens’ new tardy policy has cracked down even more on the consequences to not getting to class on time.

Athens Drive Magnet High School implemented a brand new tardy system at the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year. This new system includes many different policies such as a student being assigned lunch duty by the third tardy. Policies similar to these are found throughout the official tardy policy in an effort to ensure students are given the proper consequence for being late to a class. Although taking all factors into consideration, the previous tardy system was better. 


Last year’s tardy policy is better because it allowed for a bit more leniency, and structure, and had better enforcement overall. The current tardy system has very little enforcement because of how reliant it is on teachers to do all the work. Teachers, with the current tardy system, are required to make contact with a parent by the 2nd tardy. This will apply to every student, for every single class, every day. There is barely any leniency for students, including those who might be late for reasons outside of their control such as bad traffic, or a parent waking up late for carpool. Tackling smaller problems such as tardies could also help tackle bigger problems such as fights. With students having more reason for being in class on time it leaves less room for instigators to roam the halls waiting for a fight to happen. 


Many students believe that the previous tardy system wasn’t very good. Students wasted classroom time due to having to get a tardy slip. Students claim walking to the “tardy table” located near the cafeteria, extended the time they spent outside of class by a lot depending on where their classroom was located. This process had to happen including when a student missed the bell by thirty seconds, depending on the teacher. 


Students who believe the previous tardy system should be discontinued because of this issue fail to recognize that there are solutions available as well as a need for structure. Accountability is needed from both the school and students, but the school needs to know where their students are during school hours. To reinstate the previous tardy system successfully, the issue of prolonged time out of class must be addressed. One solution is setting up more tardy tables placed in different locations in the school. These could include tables upstairs and downstairs to cut down not only the amount of time it takes students to reach their classroom, but also the number of students an administrator would have to process. Overall, an effective tardy system is needed because the school has to know where their students are and students need a sense of responsibility for themselves. “If left unchecked, lateness can become chronic and spread throughout the class,” says a report from Carnegie Mellon University. 


There are solutions Athens Drive can implement to ensure an effective tardy system for the better of the students as well as teachers and staff. Adding only a few improvements to the previous tardy system there will be very noticeable benefits that will then help tackle bigger issues and take extra work off of teachers. It’s never too late to improve, start by adding changes to the current tardy system.