Students Mull School’s Late Policy


Girl with a guitar at train station. Retro toned image

The School’s late policy, which makes a detention automatic for anybody arriving to school late twice in one week, has been a subject of controversy among students in recent weeks.

Elizabeth Teklu’s ’17 commute takes over an hour each morning, and she says that the policy fails to acknowledge any difference between “people who are late because they live far away and rely on public transportation, and those who are late even though they live five minutes away.” Teklu also says the T’s unreliable schedule can impact student arrival times.

Goziem Echebiri ’18 also takes the T, and he agrees that the late policy is overly strict for long commuters. “Ten extra minutes often makes the difference between arriving on time and sitting in detention,” he says.

However, not all long commuters take issue with the late policy. “I think it’s reasonable,” says Sam Marcotte ’16’, who, while living 40 minutes away, has not arrived late once this year. “Those who are late just need to wake up five minutes earlier, and their problem is solved,” he says.

Dean of Students Paul Murray opposes changing the School’s late policy. Classes have to start promptly at 8:00 a.m. to fit everything into the day, he explains. “As a community we are learning life skills, which also means respecting the community and arriving at 7:50 each morning,” he says. Murray emphasizes that when the MBTA announces a train delay, no detentions are given. “You can quote me on that,” he says.

Paul Lafferty ’16 echoes Marcotte’s sentiment, explaining that while the policy may be difficult on some, it is fair on the whole. “The school needs to find a middle ground,” he says. On the other hand, Lafferty, who takes two trains each morning and finds himself late at least once a week, says the school’s policy recognizes only major delays, while failing to take into account the T’s frequent glitches.

The controversy over the School’s late policy is likely to continue in the months ahead, as winter weather will make transportation to school— whether by the T, the bus, and or a car—even more unpredictable.