Is Hampton’s Tardy Policy Unfair?

Sydney Andrews, Author and Editor

HHS students can use 3 parent-excused tardies per semester before getting a detention.

Late without a note? Detention.

Late a 4th time with a note? Detention again.

After talking with fellow students, I observed a few things:

  • ALL students surveyed mentioned that we should have more parent/guardian excused tardies.
  • Quite a few students mentioned that if you are a minute or two late, you shouldn’t have to use your parent-excused tardy.  Arriving a few minutes late is different than being 20-40 minutes late, but here it’s treated the same.
  • In response to our current policy, most students decide to take the whole day off or just go in for a half day. Students who go in for half days won’t receive any detentions, it will be counted as a half day. Many believe that if our school administration would let us have a five-minute grace period after 7:30 am, there would be far less complaining about getting a detention for being a few minutes late. More importantly, students would miss fewer classes. As it stands, why come in at 7:31 and get a detention when you can come in at 10:34 without penalty?

*While some students blame Mrs. DeKort for the school’s tardy policy, she is just doing her job. I have nothing against her. I actually feel bad when she has to explain our policy and go through paperwork when students come in just seconds after the bell. This editorial is about the school’s tardiness policy and explaining it to students who may not have their facts straight.

The policy in our school has made students complain non-stop, and it made me ponder: what are other schools’ late policies?

Pine Richland  – At Pine Richland, you are classified as late whenever you are not in homeroom by exactly 7:20am. The time you have to be in homeroom is 7:45am, however. Once a student receives 10 unexcused lates to homeroom they are called down to the office and asked if they have a reliable ride to school and if the students are okay.

Once you accumulate 20 unexcused tardies, the students receive a 30-minute detention after school. Then after 10 more unexcused tardies, the students receive a one hour detention after school.

For early dismissals the students need to bring in a note signed by their parent in the morning and then sign out in the front office computer before they leave.

When taking a look at Pine Richland’s policies this shows how strict Hampton’s administrators are on Hampton students with getting to school on time.

After talking with a senior from Pine Richland, she told me a story about what had happened to her on October 23rd 2019. She stated, “I was super mad this morning because the time you have to be in homeroom is 7:45am, but the back door and front doors were locked at 7:38am today. So while I could’ve gotten to homeroom on time if the doors were just unlocked, I had to walk around to the front of the building and wait in a super long late line. Each kid has to type their name and student ID in and check the tardy box on the office computer. Then they give you a late pass to homeroom.  But I wouldn’t have been late if I didn’t wait in that line.” I can understand their frustration and that they shouldn’t have been late.


Shaler –  At Shaler if students attend late then they must have a note from a guardian or a doctor for it to count as a excused tardy. There is a limit at Shaler for the number of unexcused tardies a student may receive. If you are a senior and you go over the limit, then you cannot graduate. All underclassmen will have to go onto the next grade through summer school if they go over the limit.


North Allegheny– At NA Senior High School (NASH) the students have 4 unexcused tardies (without a note). After the fourth one they get a Saturday detention, which doesn’t sound like a much fun. The students, however, have 14 excused tardies for the whole year; for every tardy after this limit, they have to have a doctor’s excuse every time they are late. However, something that sparked my interest was how the school can email the parents for late notes, meaning that parents can email back with a note to excuse their child’s tardy.


Upper Saint Clair– According to a freshman from USC, if the students are a few minutes late, the school gives them a note to take to the office. Depending on how laid-back the teacher is, they may not receive a late note. If the students are later than a mod (25 minutes), they have to talk to the assistant principal. Once a student has to talk to the assistant principal more than once, then the student will receive a detention. Early dismissals are another story. Upper Saint Clair requires a note written by someone over eighteen and the office will let the student go.


Fox Chapel– After talking with my friend from FC, I gathered together that the policy is to be at the doors by 7:30 am but 1st period also starts at 7:30 am. Being considered late is whether or not your teacher is relaxed about the students walking in a little bit late. The only excuse for being tardy at FC is if the students weren’t feeling well but the students decided to come in. After so many tardies the students will get an after school detention. These detentions are about an hour long and there is a bus for going home. Another consequence for all of these tardies would be a Saturday detention that can range from two to four hours. A senior from Fox Chapel states, “They do not take jobs into consideration or mandatory attendance obligations outside of the school realm.” After taking a look at Fox Chapel High School’s policies our school policies for tardiness are somewhat alike, but Hampton doesn’t have Saturday detentions at all.

After polling on the Hamptonian Twitter about how many parent/guardian excused lates students should be allotted per semester, we see a whopping 62% of students responded that they would want 6 parent-excused lates. This means that each student would get twelve parent-excused lates per year. When thinking this through, situations arise in the morning such as garage door malfunctions, icy driveways, car trouble, students sleeping through alarms, and many more that no one could predict. These six lates would allow the students to have space for these problems. The runner-up on the poll was 26% voting that students should have 4 parent-excused lates. Though the majority demands more than the rest, the results as a whole show students don’t agree with Hampton’s policy on tardiness.

After taking a look at these schools’ policies, we see that Hampton is not laid-back but very uptight about tardiness. Students are still pushing for more than three parent-excused lates per semester. The real question is: what do you guys think about Hampton’s late policy? Let me know in the comment section down below!