South Sweeps School

South institutes ‘tardy sweeps’ to stop kids from being late to class


Danny Morrow

Students rush to get to class between 5th and 7th blocks on Nov. 22. South has started conducting random “tardy sweeps” to try to get students to class faster.

Do you like tardy sweeps? It may shock you what some students think.   

Tardy sweeps at South High have caused a lot of controversy. Tardy sweeps are when all the teachers lock their doors and anyone who is late after the bell rings has to walk all the way down to the cafeteria and is handed a lunch detention. Parkway South hasn’t had many but the school is expected to continue on with them. So far two have been announced and one has been a surprise. 

 Some students and teachers think it is a good idea and others don’t like it at all. All of this talk about when it will stop and whether it is a good idea or not is all because of students being late too many times this year and it got the attention of many administrators, according to Assistant Principal Michelle Thompson.

“Since returning to school the number of students tardy to class has greatly increased,” Thompson said. 

Thompson said it has been very noticeable that the number of tardies have increased. And since returning from at-home learning and everyone being on their schedule and not worrying about being late because there was no consequence last year. 

When asked when South will stop doing the tardy sweeps, Thompson’s response was “Never.” Thompson says students should get used to this practice at South. She said there is no plan to stop doing tardy sweeps.

Thompson said when students are chronically tardy to class, they miss out on valuable classroom time. 

“We have been forced to take back some of that missed time by assigning detentions,” Thompson said. 

She said, at first, administrators were just talking and warning students who were late to class. However, she said that was not enough and they were forced to take action and start handing out detentions for those who didn’t make it to class in time. 

Students also have their own opinions on the topic and it may shock you what some think. 

“I personally find it a good thing, it makes students more productive, and it won’t affect me because I get to class on time,” said sophomore Zach Burtch. 

Many students think this way and lots of people thought that students would lean toward the side of not liking it. But that’s not the case. Many students understand why we have to do this, as like Burtch said, it won’t affect a lot of students who get to class on time regularly. 

“I think it could solve it somewhat,” Burtch said. 

Burtch believes that this is a good idea but there’s a lot of speculation when thinking about solving the problem as a whole. Burtch thinks that this won’t be able to solve this problem completely but maybe a little. As soon as we stop doing tardy sweeps the numbers could go back up is what Burtch believes. That’s why Thompson said South will never stop doing tardy sweeps. Administrators are worried that the numbers will go right back up when we stop doing them. 

“Tardy sweeps are making students more stressed,” said sophomore Blake Williss. 

Some believe this is just adding more pressure on students on top of what they already have. Williss thinks that not only will students be stressed about school work in general, but now they have to deal with more pressure to hurry up and dart to their next class just so they don’t get a lunch detention. Students have different belfies on everything in the world and this is no different. 

Burtch believes that this is a good idea and could somewhat solve the problem, but Williss believes that all this is doing is stressing students out. Both sides have different viewpoints and regardless if you like tardy sweeps or don’t like them, they’re here to stay according to Thomspon. 

So far it’s split when talking about tardy sweeps with students. But with teachers, it’s more one-sided.

“It sends a message that we really do care that students get to class on time,” math teacher Jason Koehrer said. 

When multiple students are late many teachers complain about having to repeat what they already said. 

“Students who are late often distract the students who did make it to class on time,” said Koehrer. 

According to Koehrer students can distract one another very easily and that can lead to disruption in the class. Students distract other students from staying on track and focused and that is what gets teachers upset.  

“I’m here to help people learn math, the last thing I want to do with my time is crab at students who are late to class,” said Koehrer. 

According to Koehrer, he just wants to teach math and help students who want to be there. When students show up late it clearly upsets teachers like Koehrer. Teachers don’t want to waste their time trying to always tell their students to be on time. They would rather move on with their lesson without any interruptions. 

“It is part of life,” said Thompson. 

Tardy sweeps are life lessons according to Thompson. The purpose of the tardy sweeps is to teach students the habits of being on time not just for school, but for jobs and appointments. It’s a life lesson that teachers and administrators, like Koehrer and Thompson, want students to learn not just for school but for life. 

All in all, Burtch said he thinks South is doing the right thing by enacting the tardy sweeps.

“The school wants kids to be successful and sometimes the only way to do that is by teaching them life lessons,” said Burtch.