The intercom loudly interrupts students with a frightening message, “Teachers please lock your doors. All students late for class please report to the cafeteria to be assigned a detention.”
The administration created tardy sweeps in response to “teachers’ frustration over the student population’s continued tardiness,” explained Assistant Principal Jesse Woodward.
A tardy sweep is when the administration instructs teachers to lock their doors and force all late students to go to the cafeteria and set up a detention date before returning to class.
The tardy sweeps terrify the student population. Being just ten seconds late on this one day can cost them class time and lengthy detentions.
When asked if there were more to come Woodward responded “yes.” About 80-100 students were caught in the tardy sweep and had to serve detentions.
“Attendance improved significantly when students heard that there might be a tardy sweep,” continued Woodward.
Social studies teacher Carmelina Frasca agreed stating that “anything that encourages my students to be in class on time and making the most out of instructional minutes is something that I will support.” Frasca went on to explain that “tardiness is [a] life lesson to be learned. The importance of being in class on time is the same as the importance of being at your job on time so you don’t get fired.”
Although teachers were very supportive of the program, almost all students dislike the program, many citing the disadvantages of having to run to class with a backpack or arguing that the punishment outweighs the crime.
Some students even argued that tardy punishments should be based on recurring tardiness and not a tardy sweep.
“By having to go to class, then getting the door locked on you, then going to the cafeteria and getting a detention notice, then walking all the way back to class, we really lose out on more class time than we need to,” argued junior Marc Stiver.
ASB President Joon Joung was the one student who not only spoke in favor of tardy sweeps, but praised them for their value.
“If we’re trying so hard to prevent cuts on our education, cutting class or going late to class doesn’t help,” he said. “We go to school to learn and if we’re going in late, we disrupt the class atmosphere and it’s irresponsible. I understand that students enjoy talking to other students but we have time during lunch or after school to do that. We are at school to learn and, ideally speaking, tardy sweeps shouldn’t scare anybody because everyone should be on time to class.”