New AP Rogers and OHS students find newly aggressive tardy sweeps effective
By Thanh Nguyen, Yvonne Tran, and Linda Saechao
Under the leadership of the new assistant principal Jeffrey Rogers, Oakland High is implementing aggressive new tardy sweeps and other security measures in hopes of reducing tardiness and truancy.
Ever since Nov. 28, 2011, students who enter the school later than 8:15 a.m have been caught up in the tardy sweeps. According to Rogers, these students have to go to the school library or theater, where they are lectured about punctuality. Students caught in three or more sweeps are assigned school on Saturday for three hours. If students are still tardy after going to Saturday school, then they get a three-day suspension. After suspension, the parents are required to re-enroll the student into the school; otherwise, the student will be expelled.
During lockout tardy sweeps, teachers lock their classrooms and require students to have a late slip from administration before they enter.
School administrators say that the strict new policy requires students to show their commitment to attending Oakland High. “There are other schools in the district,” said Rogers. “Get your act together or go somewhere else.”
Most schools in the Oakland Unified School District are doing tardy sweeps, according to Rogers. As a former Skyline administrator, he compared the two schools’ truancy problems.
“[Skyline’s] problem is worse than ours,” said Rogers, attributing the problem to the remote location of the other school’s campus.
Tardy sweeps have not been such a huge problem for Oakland High. More than 97% of students get to class on time, according to Rogers, who said, “We are more targeted on the [remaining] 3%.” He hopes the policy will help students understand that being tardy is a serious problem for their education.
After a couple of weeks, it appears that the tardy sweeps have been effective and helpful in getting students to class, according to Rogers.
“Yeah, [they’re effective],” said senior Amy Ton. “I don’t see much people late now.”
Many students find the tardy sweeps helpful in motivating students to get to school on time to learn.
“I think it’s necessary,” said senior Saul Robles. “There’s been a lot of tardies and doing nothing won’t solve the problem.”
However, some students disagreed, pointing out that students caught in a tardy sweep will arrive to class even later than usual.
“It’s a waste of time,” said sophomore Desjon Howard. “Because you can’t do your test or work when you’re late.”
Tardy sweeps were aggressively implemented between 2004 – 2007, according to case manager Tiago Robinson. Since then, tardy sweeps had loosened up until Rogers’s employment this year.
“It is going to be all year round,” said Rogers. “[Unless] everyone gets to class on time–then we will stop. Tardy sweeps would not be necessary if everyone got to school on time. Not necessary at all.”