Lateness policy prompts more questions than answers

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It’s 7:31 and you just race into homeroom. Your teacher tells you to go to the office because your one minute late. You get a detention. Seems unfair right?

In Hammonton, the policy for lateness before 8:27 is an office detention. Anything past 8:27 is a detention and mark for half day absent. If a student arrives after 11:43am, a detention is given and the student will be marked absent all day.

The school’s code of conduct is determined by the Board. For this district, there are laws regarding the rules of each policy. According to the New Jersey Education Code, sections 18A:38-25 through 31 and N.J.A.C. 6A:32-8 and 12., the school is responsible for how they follow NJ laws of absenteeism and lateness.

It says that each school can choose the consequences of students who do not follow the rules, as long as it is enforced some way. Hammonton choice of detention for lateness and times are determined not by law, but by school choice.

Many factor contribute to student lateness.

One student, Chloe DePalma, has senior privilege and was late to school. She showed up right after homeroom ended. Instead of a detention, she “had to stay an extra period of school to serve as an In-school suspension”.

Another student, Maia Taglienti, signed in at 7:32 and received a detention.

Senior Brad Caldwell, who has been  late three times to homeroom, has yet to be issued a detentions. He once had to sign in at the office because he was marked absent all day.

It seems like there are discrepancies between the correct consequences the school gives and ones students actually receive. Not many students are aware of the real consequences for being late, and it is wrong to handle each one differently.   

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