If they have not already, districts all over the country will welcome students back to school within the next couple weeks. As teachers finalize their lesson plans and students gather all of their supplies, one school is making a radical change within its hallways.
At Stansbury Park High School in Stansbury Park, Utah, administrators believe they found a solution to getting kids to class on time. This school year, students will begin receiving fines for coming late to class. A first offense for being tardy will be greeted with a warning, but a subsequent tardiness will cost students $3. Every offense after will cost students $5 per tardiness.
Assistant principal Cody Reutzel said, “What we’re really trying to target is those periods between classes where really it’s a choice. It’s a personal decision of whether you’re going to walk from class A to class B and be on time.”
Teachers are not able to levy the fines, as those will come directly from administrators. However, teachers will be responsible for reporting tardiness to the office. School Principal Gailynn Warr said that so far they have handed out warnings, but not any fines in their first week of classes.
Parents have voiced their criticism of the new policy. Although many think it could help teach some accountability, they believe that they should have been consulted more directly. One parent, Brett Dennison, told AOL, “I think the school board implemented this as part of a way to generate income, make a money grab out of the thing.” Principal Warr explicitly stated that the goal is not to raise funds but to get kids to class.
In case the kids cannot make the fine payment, there are alternative options. They can accept a lunch detention, or wipe the slate clean by maintaining a tardy-free history for a few weeks. Any money collected from the fines will be used to fund student initiatives, not administration ones.