Flower Mound High School's student-led newspaper


Flower Mound High School's student-led newspaper


Flower Mound High School's student-led newspaper


Change to Tardy Policy Explained

Shivani Ojha

Bad news for the night owls of Flower Mound High School: school administration has decided to update the truancy policy. The first tardy is only a warning. The second offense, however, now results in an automatic detention. There are mixed reactions among the student body regarding the new measure, with many claiming the change is too harsh.

“I think the original policy was pretty reasonable,” senior Janani Arunprakash said. “But, the threshold for automatic detention is too low, though.”

Senior Ranna Sandhu shares Arunprakash’s sentiment, arguing that it is unfair to penalize students that don’t have full control of their transportation situations.

“[Some students] have parents who drop them off late to school. Sometimes students have to walk to school. Sometimes students from the career center get late,” Sandhu said. “There are so many students at school with different needs that such restrictive rules may be an improper approach.”

To address this problem, school administration promises to be flexible with the new policy if a student has a genuine reason to be late.

“We get that students are late for a myriad of reasons, and some of them are valid excuses. You just need to talk to your assistant principal, and usually some grace will be given,” Principal Chad Russell said.

These new measures are in response to the rise in tardiness in the last couple years, a trend Russell notices has gone increasingly unpunished. 

“Last year and ever since COVID, the ability to get [to school] on time has dwindled and dwindled and dwindled,” Russell said. “During first period last year, I would stand out [in the main hallway] at 8:30 just watching students come in. Very few were accountable for showing up late.”

Beyond student accountability, school administrators are holding teachers liable as well, reminding them to enforce the new policy by sending their tardy students to the attendance clerks.

“We have had some discussions in faculty meetings about making sure students are going to get their passes if they’re tardy, and making sure they are marked tardy. Hopefully, these discussions will help,” attendance clerk Amanda Roberston said.

Russell believes that punctuality is a common courtesy that all students should demonstrate, predicting unsuccessful completion of such simple tasks as hindering the school’s reputation.

“You need to do the small things well to do the big things well,” Russell said. “Ultimately, the school pays that price when we are not able to do those [big] things that we [usually] do pretty well here.”

Robertson echoes this idea, believing schools have a responsibility to prepare students for professional settings in the real world.

“[Students] are always going to have to be somewhere on time, whether it’s for school, for work, or for college classes, ” Robertson said. “It’s a good practice to put in place aside from you not wanting a detention.”

When asked if he considered giving incentives for students to get to school on time, Russell admitted that he has initially focused on a more consequence-based policy, but that he is open to an alternative enforcement style.

“School has not necessarily always been built off of an incentive type system,” Russell said. “It’s an interesting topic to think about, though.”

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About the Contributor
Shivani Ojha
Shivani Ojha, Staff Writer
A senior who's nervous about college apps, Shivani Ojha is excited to start her 3rd year on Newspaper. Her hobbies are reading and writing, and she’s dabbled in roller skating. When she was younger, she would write in a journal everyday and pretend her life was like Dork Diaries. In Shivani's free time she enjoys hanging out with her older brother, also known as her biggest supporter, and Maggie, her miniature schnauzer.

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