FHS Cracks Down on Cutting Class

Jason Fasano

Upon returning to school this fall, Franklin High students were made aware of a significant change made to the schools policy on tardiness and absences.

According to the new policy, any student who exceeds 5 undocumented absences in any particular class within a single term will be subject to loss of credit in that class. Furthermore, any student who is at least 20 minutes tardy to any class will be recorded as absent, and this will count as an undocumented absence.

“You are here to learn. When students aren’t in classes, they are not learning,” Principal Peter Light told the senior class during an assembly to start the new school year. The administration reportedly designed the new policy after reviewing records over the summer, and noticing troubling amounts of absences and tardiness last year.

The language of the new policy, as it is stated in the Franklin High School 2012-2013 Student Handbook, is as follows:

When a student has exceeded the undocumented absence limit during any quarter, the Assistant Principal will send written notice to the parents as notification of loss of credit and an opportunity to appeal for that course for the quarter.

It goes on to read:

If a student is tardy to any class for more than 20 minutes, they will be considered absent from that class and the absence will be recorded as undocumented.

The entire student handbook can be found here.

“I think it’s a little harsh. Most of the teachers here are pretty reasonable. They usually do a pretty good job of keeping kids accountable for being on time, but they’re also understanding when we aren’t,” commented Franklin High Senior Connor Wardrop.

“If students are missing class time then ultimately that is their own problem, it will be their own grades that get affected. School is for learning, as long as we keep up our grades I don’t see why it matters where we are and when,” Franklin High Senior Santiago Leal stated, offering a different perspective on the matter.

And Santiago raises an interesting point. Does remaining in class actually correlate to better grades? Will harsher rules and punishments actually help students? These are surely questions the administration and faculty will have to keep in mind as the year progresses and these policies begin to affect students.

For more information about MA State Law regarding attendance, click here.

To learn more about the relationship between attendance and classes click here.