Tardy Policy Interferes with Classroom Instruction Time

Dear Editor,
I see no humor in Cynthia Walker’s latest column, zero. Walker
tried to relate a method used by the British Royal Navy (1800’s) to
rouse tardy sleeping sailors from their hammocks to a method used
by Dean of Students Mani Corzo to discourage high school students
from being tardy.
Dear Editor,

I see no humor in Cynthia Walker’s latest column, zero. Walker tried to relate a method used by the British Royal Navy (1800’s) to rouse tardy sleeping sailors from their hammocks to a method used by Dean of Students Mani Corzo to discourage high school students from being tardy.

She used this comparison to show that both have similar jobs. However, Mr. Corzo’s method does not have the students landing on their heads, instead he has tardy students fill a small thrash bag with litter before allowing them to return to class.

The school board is currently looking at Corzo’s method of punishment, as it may conflict with classroom instructional time. If Corzo’s method is actually as effective as it appears, the board should move on to other matters. However, I doubt his method is effective and in my opinion interferes with classroom instruction time.

I substitute teach for the Gilroy school district and at the high school. I consider a student tardy if he or she is not present in the classroom after the last bell rings. Before the last bell, a series of three short bells ring.

This is a warning to the students to let them know they have three minutes before class starts. Most any student should be able to reach his or her class after the three warning bells if they want too.

In the course of a day, I record an average of two tardies (three periods). Some days I may record four to five tardies. If the math done by Ms. Walter is correct, the high school averages 14 tardies per day. This means the days I sub, I am responsible for at least one of every seven recorded tardies. How is that possible? Something doesn’t add up.

Tardy students, especially those who have been apprehended by Mr. Coro, disrupt the classroom. Many teachers start the period with a three- to five-minute warm up activity.

Students who come in less than one minute late may have time to complete the warm-up activity, but those that come in after performing Corzo’s tardy sweep, generally lose out and lose points.

It’s rare that I have students coming in late because of Corzo’s tardy sweep, but when they do, some like to advertise to the class, they were tardy sweeped.

I also sub at the middle schools where students are rarely tardy. I am not suggesting that the middle school student’s punctuality is habit forming, but it is possible. And their punctuality continues when they start high school. This could explain why over the past two years the tardy rate at the high school has improved, not Mr. Corzo’s tardy sweep policy.

Alan L. Johnson, Gilroy

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