School officials in Cleveland are concerned with chronic student tardiness. Just over 24 percent of elementary students were late more than 15 days during the 2006-07 school year. By high school, it’s more than 41 percent, reports Cleveland.com
Tardiness is epidemic in the district, with double-digit percentages of students showing up late at some schools on any given day. School board members want to put an end to what they see as a casual attitude toward education, not only among children but also by parents seen dropping them off well after what are typically 8 a.m. starts.
Some blame not lax attitudes, but children seeing younger siblings off to school for working single parents, long walks and rides on multiple public buses in a district that limits transportation. Metal detectors at the schools also may prevent students from getting to class on time.
At the city’s John Marshall High School, tardiness continues despite detentions, phone calls to parents and other strategies to curb it, says Principal Rhonda Saegert. She reminds the students that they would be fired from their jobs for being late. “A lot of times I will hear, ‘But this is not my job,’” Saegert says “I say, ‘You need to treat it as if it were your job.’