by ETHAN STEWART
In an attempt to minimize the occurrences of Senioritis throughout the district, a new policy has been set forth in which seniors in high school must maintain at least a 94% attendance in order to partake in the graduation ceremony at the end of the year. This policy, however, has good intentions, yet is nothing but obstructive, annoying and a huge waste of time.
The first main offense of this policy is that it is too specific in its calculations. Much like how a computer can only respond to numbers, the attendance policy doesn’t respond realistically to real events. Evan Hatfield, a senior here at El Diamante responded to this claim with a real life example. “I slept in until 9:30 on a Tuesday in February, and I decided to get up and go to school anyways. Upon my return I was threatened with a Saturday-School for ditching my Pre-first and First period classes, and had reach a “milestone” in my absences. If I was ditching First period, why would I bother to show up for the rest of the school day?” Many seniors have run into this problem, and it is time for a reprieve.
Besides being too specific, the punishment for a violation of the policy is way too harsh. Being restricted from participating in the ceremony is a cruel punishment for seniors. This may be the most memorable day in our young lives. We have worked hard through 13 years of our lives, just for this one day, where we can have our name called and receive our diploma in front of every member of our family. Not being allowed to walk is like saying, “We’re sorry, because you missed 11 days of school, the last 13 years of your life has been a waste.” Not only that, but telling our family is dangerous because they might die of a heart attack. Please don’t kill our parents, we love them a lot. Change the policy before it is too late.
The final flaw to this attendance policy is its fear factor. Seniors are too afraid to miss any school and risk losing the greatest moment of their lives. Due to this underlying fear, seniors will show up to school sick rather than staying home, and because they are all showing up sick, they will get everyone else sick. Not everyone has a strong immune system. Genetically, some students will get sick more often than other students, that is just a fact of life. There is no way to change that. Sometimes, a virus will mutate and cause widespread epidemics, If someone caught the Swine Flu we might be expected to stay home. Should we be punished for this?
I do not think that the attendance policy should be abolished completely, but it needs to be drastically altered. Perhaps an extra curricular assignment could be the punishment. Something that is time consuming and punishing but not strongly traumatic and horrifying. Besides, every senior that passed all the required classes deserves to walk in the ceremony, regardless of the absences they have; they earned it. If a student ditches class so much that they fail a required class, then that is their fault. Dedicated students will always make up their work.
To get the other side of the argument click here.