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Statistics versus students: Which is more important?

Talia Johnson, Opinions Editor

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For the past few weeks, our administration has been doing hall sweeps throughout the day here at East High. These hall sweeps don’t issue after school detentions anymore, but something quite more effective that is an Overnight Suspension Notice.

This consequence is supposed to inform parents on our school’s attendance policy and get students in class before the bell each school day. If parents don’t comply in coming in the morning to sign off their student from the risk of suspension, then that said student is suspended for a day. There are multiple flaws in this policy. The student’s nor parents lives are taken into account in this plan. What about those students who simply can’t make it to school on time because of different situations outside of school?

“It’s not right that students are condemned for mistakes their parents make. It’s one thing to get to class at 8:40 a.m. and get an overnight suspension. Students being threatened with suspension for getting to class at 8:31 a.m. isn’t being treated fairly,” said Hailey Terrell, class of 2018.

“I’m always late to the first hour of school because my sister drops me off,” added Oscar Rodriguez, class of 2019.

“In my case, overnight suspension is not a great idea because my parents aren’t home in the morning, so they can’t bring me to school and go talk to the administrators, so I could miss school, get behind, and get low grades,” explained Carmen Sanchez, class of 2018.

“The parents have to come out of their own way just to settle everything. Administrators need to stick to after-school detentions,” said Jayden Ellis, class of 2018.

“I don’t think it’s that serious to the point that you’re taking kids out of the learning environment, plus if I’m tardy, I would just skip because you get in less trouble,” said Jonqueze Adams, class of 2018.

“I think administrators are thinking about how to get the tardy rate down. They are not thinking about the parents that work and get in trouble for being late because they have to sign their child back into school. I also think they should go back to detention, whether it’s after school or during lunch,” concluded Ariel Tidwell, class of 2018.  

Students don’t just get stuck in the hallway talking to their friends, which came from one of our assistant principals himself during my own face-to-face conference with my parent. In my situation, my parent and I lost track of time. I got in the building at 8:29 a.m., and they were already escorting students to nearby academy offices. I was then infuriated. From the mutual facial expressions exchanged between over a dozen students in the HPS office, it looked like it affected the other students as well, thus bringing me to my second point: administrators are affecting the way a student’s day pans out and their emotions toward the school and the district.

In my experience, once I eventually arrived at my first hour, I wanted nothing to do with the lesson my teacher was teaching. I was zoned out before my first hour became remotely interesting to me. Twenty minutes into the class, another student walked in with an overnight suspension notice. They put their headphones in and put their head down. As students pile into their classrooms with their yellow slips, the withdrawn and frustrated presence will come with it.

According to healthiersf.org, 69 percent of those surveyed felt that suspension was of little use, and 32 percent predicted that they would be suspended again. The survey also found that 55 percent of students suspended were angry at the person who had suspended them. With a large majority of students feeling that suspension was of little use, and with over half reporting a feeling of anger, instead of remorse, this study suggests that OSS may not meet the needs of students with behavior problems.

This affects more than just the tardies at school. Administrators and security don’t know what each student faces before stepping foot on East High grounds, and this plan of action comes off to students that their lives aren’t an important issue. Giving out tardies/overnight suspensions for every other hour of the day is a lot more fathomable. Stop thinking about statistics and start thinking of students.


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Statistics versus students: Which is more important?