FHN Changes Tardy Policy Enforcement


By Adele Higgins, Lauren Willerton, and Uma Upamaka

At the beginning of the school year, it was announced by the Francis Howell North administration that the enforcement of the tardy policy would be changing drastically. The move toward more stringent tardy enforcement began over summer, when the idea to put enforcement back in the hands of teachers was created. However, administrative talks began taking place earlier last year in response to a surge of tardies. 


“For the past five years, with the exception of last year, there were about 8,000 tardies marked per year,” head principal Nathanael Hostetler said. “Last year, it was 12,000.”


This change was quite alarming in the eyes of the administration, which prompted more severe action. 


“The policy hasn’t actually changed,” Hostetler said. “It’s more so the procedure that we are using to enforce it.”


The change in enforcement came at a point where, realistically, administrators were less enabled to enforce policy. This, in turn, allowed more infractions regarding tardy policy with less disciplinary action overall. 


“It used to be that a student could get up to 35 tardies in a week before an administrator could talk to them,” said Hostetler. “By putting it back in the hands of the teachers, we see that students are held more accountable for their tardies.”


Despite widespread teacher approval of the policies, student opinion is mixed.


“It was an improvement on the system to prevent tardiness,” senior Ashlynn Bozich said. “It targets kids that are wandering and keeps kids that just need to go to their locker or to the restroom.”


Some praise the change in enforcement and see it as a way to effectively establish and deliver consequences for tardies. On the other hand, some students see a change in enforcement as unnecessarily restrictive. 


“They lock all the rooms and the principals walk around the building,” freshman Caroline Kolath said. “If you’re not in the classroom, you get an automatic detention. It [the change in enforcement and surrounding policy] wasn’t really evaluated.’