Change the YHS Tardy Policy

Change the YHS Tardy Policy

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Abby Orso started this petition to YHS Administration

For their Senior Civic Action Project, a group of students at York High School is working toward modifying the current tardy policy, as there have been concerns that specific groups of students have been targeted with unfair consequences and that parents have lost some authority over their children. If an athlete is 15 minutes late, they are no longer allowed to attend practice that day. Only with a doctor’s note can you be considered 'excused', regardless if a parent or guardian notifies the school of illness concerns or personal issues. A doctor’s visit isn’t always possible or necessary, for example, a student may be suffering from mental health issues that simply require a few extra minutes to get themself together before going to school or a headache that only needs a few extra minutes of sleep. There are a variety of personal reasons a student may be tardy for school, and we feel that it is not fair to penalize students for factors out of their control and that parents should be able to advocate for their children in situations like this.

We found that 60% of students surveyed saw this as an unfair policy, as they shared “it is not fair to athletes,” “needed to be changed for bad weather,” and expressed that they wanted a change in allowing only a doctor’s note for an absence. Then, there are other students who are simply unaware of what the policy entails. Many students have expressed their concerns for the lack of time given to be tardy, especially in bad weather conditions, which is always a consideration living in northern New England. 

We are concerned that students' overall health is a reason behind many of these tardies being issued, as 68.4% of students surveyed identify personal issues as the reason for being late, with many of them expressing it's out of their control. Although our school may have one of the highest absence rates in the state, we should not be putting the students’ overall health behind the need to shrink a statistic. From the information provided above, one can see that this policy should be modified to accommodate all students. By signing this petition, you are supporting the following:

1) The movement to allow parents/guardians the ability to excuse their kids again; 

2) The extension of the window of time for students who engage in extracurricular activities to get to school in order to participate; 

3) To make sure all students who participate in extracurricular activities are treated equally. 

To assist those unaware of the policy in understanding what results have come from this change in policy, we have summarized the following points:

  • Athletes are penalized differently than other students participating in extracurricular activities.
    • After being 15 minutes late without a doctor’s note, they are no longer able to participate in the practice or game that day.
    • Other extracurricular activities are still allowed to participate the same day.
  • Students with mental health issues or personal, physical ailments may not be given the flexibility they may need in the mornings as parents are unable to excuse them without a formal doctor's note
    • For example, families without insurance are not able to present a doctor’s note.
    • Some physical and mental ailments may not necessitate a trip to the doctor's office but can still be severe enough for a student to need more time in the morning.
  • 68.4% of surveyed students say their tardiness is often due to personal or family issues.
  • 60% of students surveyed feel the current tardy policy is not fair or realistic.

Thank you for taking the time to read our petition statement!

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
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