Today I am irked by people who are late.

A few days ago we received a letter crafted by a secretary at the high school my son goes to that has undercurrents of this sentiment. Seems they are a bit irked, as well. (The letter was generic, and not specifically addressed to us. It was sent out en masse to all the parents whose teens go to that school.)

The letter has nine paragraphs about all the procedures they kids have to follow for all the different scenarios:

  • late arrival within the first 20 minutes
  • late arrival beyond 20 minutes
  • leaving the school for appointments
  • events and outside interests (for us that would be hockey tournaments), etc

Kids are expected to show up on time, but if the school dishes out consequences and a parent complains, they worry about getting sued. It’s tough – everything everyone says today can be, or is, interpreted by someone as offensive, discriminatory, bla bla blah.

The school doesn’t want to get sued if a kid leaves and doesn’t advise the office and something happens. The parents expect the school to know where their kids are during school hours. The kids, being the ones who GO TO SCHOOL, are expected to adhere to the school policies and parental expectations.

Seems the kids aren’t particularly concerned about policies though…or the parental expectations. Otherwise, there would be no letter.

Technically, the school has every right to involve the parents to talk to their kids about policies and expectations.

Technically, parents have the right to expect the school to be responsible for the minors during school hours.

Technically, schools have the right to expect on-time arrival, to avoid disruption in class.

Technically, I wish the schools would dish out all the consequences they want, or find some other way to get the kid to show up on time.

But it doesn’t work that way. Teachers can’t really keep kids after school anymore either…there are so many kids involved with extra-curricular activities, some of which are expensive and require commutes, or they volunteer or have jobs to get to (the older ones). The teachers themselves are also involved in their own, or school related extra-curricular activities (or have to go to daycare to pick up their own kids)…

It’s hard. It comes down to mutual respect. But try to explain that to a kid who doesn’t like school and is always tired…

My son has half my DNA. I’m an on-time person. My partner is also not one who has chronic late arrival issues. He was an airline pilot for 10 years…and now, as a college prof, he respects time there, too. I mean, it’s just part of how the world works, isn’t it?

So my son’s combined DNA should result in on-time performances, no?

I checked his report card to see if he was marked late. He hasn’t. This confuses me. I know for a sure based on the time he leaves here for the bus that it’s unlikely he gets to school on time. And even if he arrives on time, he still has to walk TO the school, INTO the school, TO his locker, TO his classroom…

Do they just allow, or expect, that half the school population who takes the bus will trickle in within the first 20 minutes of class? One by one?

This frustrates me. I find this unacceptable.

My son doesn’t think it’s a problem. Maybe he’s not late. Maybe he does manage to make it just in the nick of time. The report card doesn’t indicate a chronic late issue…so what’s my problem, you ask?

Well, there’s this letter I mentioned. If I do the math in my head, it’s likely, probable, that he is one of the ‘arrives within the 20 minutes after class starts’ students.

I know how hard it is to get teenagers out of bed and OUT of the house in a timely fashion. Just this morning we had a thing…(again. ugh)

So that’s what irks me today.

You’re welcome.

TGIF! It’s almost the weekend youth sports weekend. 🙂


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