Slips of paper are distributed to students who have received 20 tardies, assigning them lunch detention. Lunch detention is part of the Clarke Central High School tardy policy, which aims to reduce tardies. “I know that (lunch detention) is a good deterrent for students in regards to making sure they get to class on time because it’s something kids don’t really want to do, considering that you only get 22 minutes a day of a break,” English department teacher Christian Barner said. “Taking that break away from students I think definitely is something that can act as a deterrent.” Graphic recreation by Ana Aldridge
The Clarke Central High School staff has implemented new procedures to target student tardiness.
Clarke Central High School credit recovery teacher Sharon Barnes, a former CCHS English department teacher, is working to enforce the school’s tardy policy as a part of her new position on staff.
According to the policy, students with 10 tardies in one semester will receive a phone call home. If they reach 20 tardies, they must attend lunch detention, and if they reach 30 tardies, they receive one day of in-school suspension.
“The tardies have been accumulating all year, but I took over the position in November, so in November I started processing the ones that had already reached that point,” Barnes said. “I wasn’t in charge of (the policy in my previous position), but when I got in charge of it I decided that this was the way it needed to go and we were gonna make sure that we got those students before the end of the semester so that it wouldn’t linger into next semester.”
English department teacher Christian Barner, who has taught at CCHS for six years, has daily experience with students arriving late to class.
“It’s bad, especially around lunchtime, because students want to hang out with their friends during lunch. A lot of it has to do with just getting those 20 minutes and that’s it, so some students want to kind of go to second and third and fourth lunch, or stay a little bit later because they see their friends coming in,” Barner said.
Barner has noticed a new enforcement on the tardy policy, and believes it is helping reduce tardies.
“I do think it’s getting better, and even hearing students talk about it. I think that people are realizing that there’s consequences for not being there, not only just that you miss out on instructional time, or on time to work on a project or whatever it is that you’re doing in class, but also that there can be other consequences outside of just that,” Barner said.
Junior Zuri Flores, who received lunch detention, says that there are a variety of reasons that students are late to class.
“Walking to places. For example, if I have third period in the West Wing third floor, I have to walk all the way to JROTC, and if I gotta stop to the bathroom and then go to another class, I’m tardy,” Flores said. “It’s just small reasons, sometimes talking or staying too long in another class.”
Flores does not believe that lunch detention is effective in reducing tardies.
“I guess I don’t see the point of (lunch detention) because we’re just sitting here and I don’t really mind sitting here. It’s just, ‘OK, I’m sitting here alone.’ That’s it,” Flores said. “I guess it’s just a warning, like ‘Hey, you’re getting close to 30.’ But it’s not that bad.”
Barnes will continue to enforce the tardy policy in January, when everyone’s tardy count is reset for the semester.
“Next semester it’ll just start right off the bat. Hopefully, students won’t get them as quickly, but when (they do) I’m just gonna go in and process them right when they hit 20, and from that point on they’ll just be working on going towards ISS.”