The Late Table: A New Policy Bound To Stop Traffic

As a senior, I know how difficult it can be to get up in the morning. Waking up at the crack of dawn to get in the inevitably long line on the way to school is my least favorite part of the day. But there might be a change coming to this routine very soon. There is chatter among the administration and staff about a new policy coming to Oakland Mills. Students who arrive after the 7:25 bell will not only have to report to the late table, but their parents will have to wait with them. The amount of tardies has reportedly reached record highs, and the school system has decided that enough is enough. 

Starting the week after spring break, parents will be required to sign their child in and give a valid reason for the tardy. This new era reminds me of my elementary school days when my parents would have to walk me to the office. However, I thought the days of being escorted into a school building by an adult were over. I stand corrected. 

Although this rule is not exciting, it may be the best thing for the student body. On average, there are around 100 students who arrive at school late and have to sign in between 7:30 to 8 AM, according to one of the late table attendants. So this new policy may be the final push that OM needs to get moving in the right direction. 

On the other hand, if everyone is on time, the morning line traffic will be even worse. The line often wraps around the block, disturbing commutes along Kilimanjaro Road. With the institution of this new rule, the school increases the probability that everyone will arrive at one time and the amount of tardies will increase as a result. So, is this rule actually going to help? It may be ideal on paper, but in practice there may be some unforeseen complications. If the attendance system really needs to be altered, I suggest staggering times. Each grade level can come in during a different 30-minute window. That way, people are not bumper to bumper on the road.

With that being said, students do not have a say in what happens to the late policy. Failure to comply with the rules will have severe consequences. “If they don’t bring their parents in, we will have to put them in ISS [in-school suspension] until their parents come to sign them in,” Coach Brewington explained to me. So, I’m disappointed to say that OM parents might be seeing a lot more of the school in the future. 

Happy April Fool's Day!🦂

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