McLaughlin: Grace period needed in tardy sweeps

Kimberlee McLaughlin

Kimberlee McLaughlin

Kimberlee McLaughlin, Senior Reporter

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Administrators recently added tardy sweeps to the tools they use to police stragglers in the hallways. When the late bell rings for any passing period, teachers shut and lock their doors after the tardy sweep announcement.

While the idea behind the tardy sweep might be great, the format could use a little more work. Instead of having the sweep immediately after the tardy bell, students should have a minor grace period.

Students have classes spread all across the school. Some students go from the 3300 hall to the 2100 hall. To walk long distances across the school, with the addition of stairs, it can make a students walk a little more than five minutes. Having teachers watch you sprint to their room and still shut the door is harsh.

In addition, there’s a need to use the restroom. Teachers won’t let you leave during class without telling you that “you should have gone during the passing period,” More time is then needed to make it to any given class.

During a tardy sweep, when teachers enter restrooms to force students to go to the cafeteria, the students who actually had to go are now in trouble for doing something that could potentially harm them if they hadn’t gone. Not going to the restroom when you need to and “holding it in” can lead to a urinary tract infection, kidney stones and blood poisoning if done often enough.

“The longer you hold your urine, the bladder can become a breeding ground for bacteria to grow,” Dr. Chamandeep Bali, a naturopathic doctor at the Toronto Naturopathic Health Clinic said in an article in the Huffington Post. This bacteria can lead to serious infections, which can spread to kidneys and cause major consequences to the body.

Many students are in the habit of not going at all throughout the day due to the fear of being tardy or missing class time. Adding the fear of getting after school detention only makes matters worse.

The tardy sweep also isn’t necessarily fair. Students who have not been tardy, but maybe once, are now having to sit through after-school detention, or ASD, when any other student would get lunch detention after two tardies. Students who are otherwise always on time, are now punished for making one mistake.

The students that are trying to get to class on time, but for a valid reason couldn’t make it that one time, are not the students who deserve ASD. The students who are consistently tardy and aren’t trying to make it to class, even a minute after the bell, are the students who need to be “swept.”

Some might argue that using the restroom is often used as an excuse to be late to class. While that may be true, there is an obvious contrast between students who actually have an emergency and those who are lacking responsibility. If students need to go to the restroom, they should be able to go to their class first and ask their teacher for a pass if it’s an emergency.

In order to keep those responsible students out of ASD, administrators should wait a few more seconds before announcing the tardy sweep.

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