According to assistant principal Tom Parry, 116 Carmel High students served detention for tardies first semester. But according to many on the CHS campus, the tardy policy and detention hours assigned are inconsistently enforced.
CHS’ tardy policy clearly states that after a student has four tardies in any individual class, he receives detention and a meeting with the assistant principal. But according to some of these students, like senior Nick Mikulich, they haven’t received any detentions.
“I know I have six tardies in Mr. Schrier’s class alone and seven in another class, but I have only gotten warnings by my teachers and one warning notice from [ROP secretary] Lisa Jones,” Mikulich says. “I haven’t been notified about any detentions or met with any of the assistant principals.”
According to the dozens of CHS students questioned about their tardiness, few said they felt they had an obligation to actually go to their assigned detentions.
When asked about how many of his assigned detentions he has gone to, a senior boy who says he has 89 tardies throughout his classes this year, said he hasn’t gone to any of his detentions.
“No, I haven’t gone to any of them,” the boy says. “I already know what I’ve done wrong so I’m not gonna go to a detention for it. The worse they can do is probably suspend me and they already know that’s what I want.”
Another sophomore girl, who has 19 tardies to one class, says she doesn’t see the point of even going to detention for tardies.
“I have been to at least one of my assigned detentions each semester, but I don’t think there is even a point to going to them anymore,” the sophomore girl says. “None of my teachers tell me anything and…I went to two detentions so I think that’s good enough.”
Campus supervisor Pam Sullivan, who also monitors after-school detentions, believes that students should always be held responsible for their actions and feel obligated to serve their detentions for whatever reason they are assigned.
“We are supposed to be here teaching our students life lessons, and being tardy at school is like being tardy for a job,” Sullivan says. “If the students were as tardy to a job as they are here at school, they would be fired.”
Although there seems to be a large number of excessively tardy students, Parry states that there has been a 35 percent drop in students with three or more tardies from third quarter last year to third quarter this year.
“There were a total of 134 students with three or more tardies third quarter last year and third quarter this year there [were] only 86,” Parry says. “That is a very significant drop, and we just have a way better system now.”
According to Parry, starting second semester last year, Carmel Unified School District’s technology director, Paul Behan, helped create the warning letters that are automatically sent home to a student’s parents through Aeries.
There are flaws in every system, though, and according to Parry one of them may be having to educate parents and students about the letters sent home and how exactly they all work.
“Yes, there will always be a few chronic kids that slip through our cracks, but we are working on it every day,” Parry says. “We work with each student on a one-on-one basis, and according to the data, tardiness has just gone way down this year thanks to the letter system.”