Blake is Back: 2012-2013 Tardy Policy Pushes Students into One Boring Room

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Photo by Allie Creamer
Fernando Juarico-Cervantes hides his face as DaNetta Blake signs him in to Hall Sweep. She tells him to take a seat in the fourth row, fourth seat. Cervantes joins 16 other students at 1:20 pm on Friday.

 

Tick, tock, tick, tock, the slow, monotonous ticking of the clock is probably the only sound you’ll hear in the hall sweep room, a sound that can only be associated with pure boredom. A sound that, with each tick of the clock just seems to just drag on and on, like when your parents made you stand in the corner in the 3rd grade.

Compared to hall sweep, class seems like a great place to be.

Loy Norrix High School, for the 2012-2013 school year, has adapted a new procedure for students who are late to class called hall sweep. The program, in a nutshell, states that if a student is found outside of class after the bell they will be escorted to the hall sweep room, where the fun and games of the hallway disappear.

After being caught in the hall sweep and being taken to what is known as the TV Studio, students must find a seat and sit there for the entire period. They are also given an unexcused absence in the class that they would have been tardy to.

Many students disagree with the new hall sweep system. According to sophomore Jessica Thomas the tardy program needs definite revision, she says that 5 minutes of passing time does not give students any time in the hallway to do things like fill up their water bottle, or go to their locker, which results in them having to tote around books the entire school day. Thomas also says that an unexcused absence is much too harsh a price to pay for being two or three minutes late to class and that a much better system could be found to keep students in class while still having minimal disruption for teachers from students showing up late.

“Why should students miss an entire class period for being late, it just doesn’t make sense that in order to stop kids from missing out on their education for a tardy they miss out on an entire period,” said Thomas.

Some students are also worried about missing work, senior Armondo Rubalcaba wonders if her grades might suffer because of the new tardy procedure. She has only had one hall sweep, but any more might cause her to miss something important in class. “I miss quizzes and tests sometimes when I’m in hall sweep,” she said.

Hall sweep is modeled after “bridges,” or the in school suspension room of the previous school year, and is run by DaNetta Blake, who was no longer going to be working at Loy Norrix with the annulment of “bridges.”

Blake is known for making the conditions of hall sweep harsh and strict, the best way to keep students out of hall sweep. “Kids know Ms. Blake, so they don’t want to show up here,” said Blake.

Blake has a way of making her room quite displeasing. While there, students can only have schoolwork out, they must be silent, and cannot get out of their seat. They cannot sleep or have their head down, and they must also be working on any uncompleted work until the bell. The room is made to be boring, and these five rules of Blake’s do a phenomenal job of making that true.

Hall sweep is a disciplinary program designed to curb tardiness as well as a students desire to skip, and this year’s punishment for being late seems to be much more severe than the last. Thirty-seven students were seen in and out of Blake’s room in only the first two hours of school the day hall sweep was implemented. This number is slowly declining but, according to Principal Edwards, nearly 2% of the students in the school are still being seen in hall sweep each hour. About 20 of these are students that have had more than one recurring hall sweep.

Edwards also stated that the current hall sweep system is only temporary and a new program for tardies will be implemented shortly. The number of students being swept isn’t severely high and is predicted to only decrease as freshman get accustomed to the new school and its procedures. This relatively low number shows it is possible for students in Loy Norrix High School to arrive to class on time.