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Why We Should Revert to the Old Attendance Policy

J.P. Matthew, Staff Writer

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“You can’t graduate!” Imagine being told this due to the number of absences you have. Tragic, right?  With the current attendance policy in Stamford’s high schools, you can be cut out from certain school activities for missing class, along with losing the credits you may need for college. Even skipping study hall can cause you to lose the privilege of attending activities such as prom, homecoming, the dodge ball tournament and many other fun school spirited events.

Why does this matter? Well, it’s our senior year, and there are many things we want to do before we leave this school. For instance, going to school events such as homecoming and prom is a must-do on everyone’s list. If our absences limit us from these school activities, then what’s the point of even trying in school? Ten absences mean you lose all the credit for the class, but keep the grade. This doesn’t encourage seniors to go to class at all; we need a policy where everyone has a more equal chance of passing the class.

The solution to this terrible policy would be to revert back to the old schedule, where there were seven absences allowed per quarter. This solution would be way better for many of the seniors because their absences would reset every quarter. Seniors would be more comfortable with this policy. This current attendance policy does not help anyone, as 10 absences per semester isn’t enough. We need a policy that will allow seniors to leave and go home during study hall, knowing that even with the consequences of leaving they still won’t have huge milestones taken away from them (causing them to dislike school, while may affect their attendance anyway).

The change in the attendance policy would let students know that people are listening to their wants and needs so they won’t feel like they lack a voice in their own education. If we take action to change the attendance policy, many more kids will be able to attend school events making the whole high school experience better for them. Imagine being a girl, who has planned her whole attire for prom and spent a lot of money, being told she can’t go last minute. Not only would the girl be heartbroken, she will never have the chance to experience this event. As a parent,  having your child being told they can’t go to prom with all their friends just because they missed too many study halls is kind of ridiculous, isn’t it?

High school is not only an important time in a student’s learning, but also its time for them to have fun with their friends before they all go away to college. Taking that away just because they decided to go home last period when they had study hall, or because they were out sick but don’t have a doctor’s note to get that absence exempted – it’s outrageous. Can you also imagine how hard it must be on the student to get credits taken away from a class they need because they exceeded the absences and can’t get exempted because they don’t have the right “proof” for it?

If we return to the old attendance policy many more kids will be able to get the credits they need for college, along with having an amazing school experience by attending all the after school activities.  Mostly every senior has a class that they don’t need to pass in order to graduate, and that’s okay. If we want to change the way the attendance policy works we need to work together to organize a better solution for everyone.

One idea we can do is get as many students as possible to protest in or outside the classroom about why we need the old policy back. We can do sit- ins, pass around petitions or even go to social media to let the faculty know that we are serious about changing this rule, especially for seniors who just want to enjoy and have fun their last year of high school. Imagine the whole student body participating in this cause; all the teachers and principals are bound to hear about it and say something or it’ll keep going on until someone does. We have a chance to speak our mind, whether the teachers like it or not, and take pride in what we believe in.

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Why We Should Revert to the Old Attendance Policy