The sudden explosion of tardy sweeps isn’t just a temporary enforcement of punctuality: a maximum of three tardy sweeps are to be issued every week this school year, school officials say.
Nine tardy sweeps in the first six weeks of school resulted in 240 student detentions. Two tardy sweeps occurred on Sept. 13, catching 93 students on that day alone. The students were sent to room 408 after school for 45-minute detentions.
There were 41,124 tardies just last year, and detention supervisor Darrin Vanderpan insisted that it is a huge predicament.
“If you think about it, everyone in class was disrupted 42,000 times last year,” he reasoned. “With missed class comes missed learning. By having more tardy sweeps, we can have more students in class present and learning, resulting in less students with D and F grades.”
Harsher punishments will be endowed upon students who skip their detentions without a notice.
“Kids who don’t sign in during their detentions will be sent to their assistant principals, where they will receive a Saturday school,” Vanderpan stated.
According to Assistant Principal Erica Ehmann, a new kind of sweep will also be randomly enforced.
“We will have tardy sweeps in between periods. Students who are out of class for any reason must have a pass at all times,” she said.
She affirmed that this new system is set in place to stop students from cutting class. “If a student is caught by an official without a pass, they’ll be sent immediately to room 408.”
Senior Amanda Lemoine dislikes the tardy sweeps and believes they are unfair.
“I don’t like how they’re getting more frequent. What if you’re stuck in the hallway the one day you’re late, and there’s a tardy sweep?” she said.
Assistant Principal J.C. Farr stressed the importance of being timely.
“Students have to learn to be responsible. It’s critical to emphasize how necessary it is to be in class,” he said. “Students must be alert, regardless of whether or not the sweeps are announced.”
Senior Eric O’Bayley is one of the many students who think the sweeps are harsh.
“I can see how they’d work in theory, but it’s pointless giving a student a detention for being a minute late. It’s annoying.”
Vanderpan is confident, however, that the increased frequency of tardy sweeps is necessary.
“It definitely would have continued to get worse. Something had to be done,” he said.