Cellphones and Tardies; The New School Policies

What the new policies mean for you.

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Cellphones and Tardies; The New School Policies

William J. Rathe, Senior Staff Writer/ Fact Checker

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If you have looked at any syllabus you received this year, you might notice that the Erie High School administration has introduced two new important school policies concerning tardiness and cell phone use in the classroom. 

The tardy policy is what has most students concerned, many viewing it as too strict or unfair. The policy states: a student’s first tardy is a warning, the second tardy requires the student to stay two minutes after class, the third requires a phone call to parents, and the fourth is a referral to the office.

This policy is seen by many students as “too much,” because the tardies are counted per semester; meaning a student is only allowed one tardy without consequences in a semester. With the average of 90 days in a semester, this requires an attendance rate of 98.9 percent before a student would face punishments.

“I just don’t understand,” said senior Alex Tempel, “We’re human. We are going to be late sometimes. As long as we get our work done, it shouldn’t matter if we are late every now and again”

The cell phone policy follows the same guidelines, with the number of infractions being counted over the semester and increasing consequences. The first time the cell phone is seen in class is a warning, second the teachers holds the phone until the end of class, and the third infraction is a phone call to parents, with the fourth being a referral to the office.

Although this year’s policies do not differ too much from the previous year’s, the cell phone policy is still looked down on by students.

These policies were implemented for the 2019-2020 school year in hopes to reduce the amount of distraction and the amount of class time missed, but the effectiveness of these policies is in question.

Multiple students have reported that many people have been tardy multiple times in a class, yet no punishments have been enacted. Many teachers also have the wall ‘cubbies’ for student cell phones, yet many spots remain unused in the cubbies.

Even though the policies can easily be considered strict in language, the enforcement of the policies is lacking. Many students have reported they have been tardy multiple times without repercussion, effectively making the policy useless.

This raises the important question: How can students be more involved in classes and not miss class time?

Some say the solution is new policies, some say the policies that are already in place need to be enforced more, and some say it’s about how the school is operated.

Teachers and staff of Erie High School believe it is important for students to share their feelings and thoughts with administration, as good communication allows for administration and students to, as Justin Carpenter put it, “Maintain a healthy relationship, ensure student safety and allow for students to feel okay with the policies they live with.”