How New Trier’s late policy is unfair to students

Only giving students one free tardy per quarter is not enough

Students waiting in line to get into the building at New Triers south entrance

Casey Bertocchi

Students waiting in line to get into the building at New Trier’s south entrance

We all know the feeling of being late: racing out the door, trying not to speed, scrambling to get to your destination on time and hoping that you’ll make it. Everyone has experienced this at least once. It’s a natural part of life. Nobody is ever perfectly on top of things.

In the professional world, being a few minutes late to the office once or twice won’t hurt you that badly. As long as you’re consistently coming in on time most days, a few slip-ups won’t really count against you.

At New Trier, however, being a few minutes late twice will earn you a detention. That policy is unfair to students. We realize that rules are important and it’s necessary to have a policy in place so that students don’t just show up whenever they feel like it.

But as it is, students only get one free tardy each quarter. Every subsequent violation earns a detention. If you miss a detention, you have to talk to the Adviser Chair, and may have more assigned to you, according to the New Trier Student Handbook. A student could be late once in November and would have to be perfectly on time every day until the end of January to avoid a detention.

There are so many things beyond a student’s control that can cause him or her to be late. A sibling could be sick, which could slow the whole family down, especially if the student relies on a parent to get them to school. If a student takes public transportation, there could be delays. The carpool lines are incredibly long, often backed up blocks down Green Bay at 8 a.m. And then there’s the most recent obstacle, imposed by the New Trier Administration itself: ID scanning.

Starting Oct. 29, New Trier started making students show their IDs before entering the school building through the Winnetka Avenue entrance to increase security. Since November 16, the administration has started scanning IDs at all three entrances which takes even longer and causes a pileup of students at the entrances all trying to fight their way in so that they won’t be late to advisery.

To mitigate the crowding, students were organized into lines running along the three sidewalks that lead to the entrance. But this took even longer. One day, after leaving my car, it took me ten minutes to get to my advisery — which is right at the front of the school — instead of the usual two, all because I had to wait in a long line. I would have been on time to advisery if I hadn’t had to wait in that line.

New Trier’s late policy is unfair to students, and places an extra burden on kids who are already so stressed from schoolwork and extracurriculars. The administration claims to want to reduce stress, yet it keeps this policy in place.

Ten weeks is a long time, and it’s unrealistic for the administration to expect students to have perfect mornings and arrive perfectly on time every day of the quarter.

The school should change its policy so that students get one or two more slip-ups per quarter before they receive a detention. It’s unreasonable to believe that during an entire ten weeks, students will only mess up once, and it’s unfair to punish them when their own policies contribute to tardiness. Instead, the administration should be more forgiving and empathetic to what students need.