By Adrianna Iorio and Aryanna Zavala, Clarion Staff
Amongst the Kennedy campus, a variety of transportation methods exist to haul students to and from school. Some walk, take the bus, carpool, drive themselves, or have their family members drive them to school. While each student’s daily commute yields a unique experience for every individual, they all have one thing in common: their everyday concerns of punctuality and safety to their next destination.
Despite student conveyance coming across as a simple task, a problem lies in the midst – being late to school. In December 2016, 494 students were surveyed in relation to transportation. The results showed that 19% (90 students) of the Kennedy student body was late to school, and that 48% of those students were late five times or more.
From broken bike chains to prolonged traffic, these simple, uncontrollable occurrences seem to have consequences, leading students to accumulate records of tardiness and lunch detention. As a result, students across the Kennedy campus feel that receiving detention is unfair due to unforeseen scenarios.
Isis Venner (‘18), a junior who takes the bus to school, believes that hall monitors should give more leeway to tardy students. “It’s not the student’s fault if they are late to school. Taking the bus is the only choice they have,” Venner said. “The students are not the one that’s driving.”
Hunter Jess (‘19), a sophomore who rides his bike regularly, has also faced problematic situations. Things as simple as a flat tire have prevented him from being at school on-time. “I think it is extremely unreasonable that students receive detention for being late to school,” Jess expressed. “There are certain conditions a student has no control over that prevents them from attending school on time.”
The struggle of being late to school will always be an issue that many students deal with throughout the course of the school year. Despite the opinions based on the consequence of detention, many students fail to realize the ways in which they can avoid these punishments.
“Once a year, there happens to be an accident that slows the traffic down,” stated Mr. Pauly, a Kennedy social science teacher. “I leave early, so I’ve not had that problem.”
The Kennedy Handbook’s tardy policy is designed to protect teaching time and promote a student’s academic achievement. Because of tardiness, students missed valuable information from their first period class, negatively impacting their academic performance. The handbook states, “Once detention is assigned, the student must serve the day of the tardy. Detention is held daily during lunch and also after school in room T-2. Failure to attend detention will result in additional disciplinary action up to and including suspension.”
Jose Marte, a campus monitor, gave easy tips on how to avoid punishment. “They won’t receive detention if they bring a note. If their parents call the attendance office and leave a voicemail message with their name and I.D. number, then they will get verified and be taken off the detention list,” informed José. “Also, if the parents bring them in the attendance office when dropping them off, we see that they are a parent and their child will not get a detention.”
Along with tardiness, there also has been a growing concern with inattentive drivers on the road. Many students with their permit or license share the same fear of driving on the road with irresponsible drivers.
According to a 2015 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2,333 teens in the United States ages 16-19 were killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2015. The concern of safety for teen and adult drivers has led to many motor vehicle safety campaigns.
To spread awareness of motor vehicle safety, the nation has funded many campaigns such as “Click It or Ticket.” The City of Sacramento has also informed the public about the safeties of driving and the negative effects that can come from bad driving decisions.
The only advice that can be given to students is to be responsible, as it can also prevent many risky or unpredictable situations and consequences such as tardiness. One careless mistake could result in a lifetime of problems.