70% of Payton seniors lost at least one week of their senior year off-campus lunch privileges, according to a poll of over 100 members of the class of 2018 conducted at the end of the 2016-2017 school year by the Paw Print. These lost privileges are a result of an attendance policy that went into effect on October 11, 2016. The change was made, according to Assistant Principal David Adamji’s email, to “continue to support your efforts to arrive to school on time.”
Not all students were in support of the week revocation, with 90% of students polling against the one tardy, one week ban. “I think it is preposterous,” Timmy Li ‘18 said. “It’s unfair to students who may have a longer commute time or irregular schedules in the morning.” Some staff members expressed concern over the previous policy.
Officer Judith Watkins of Payton’s security department said, “I have mixed feelings about it.” Officer Watkins additionally stated that tardies are issued to “the same hundred students” consistently.
At the beginning of the 2017- 2018 school year, an updated tardy policy was sent out to the student body through email, as well as some statistics on tardies accumulated last year: “we accumulated an unacceptable number of tardies as a school last year (SY2016- 2017). Consider these numbers: Class of 2020 accumulated at total of 5,753 tardies. Class of 2019 accumulated a total of 4,784 tardies. Class of 2018 accumulated a total of 5,205 tardies. Class of 2017 accumulated a total of 8,495 tardies.”
The new policy reduces the number of weeks of off-campus lunch revoked for students with over eight tardies. Students with fewer than eight but more than three tardies were given clean slates, with up to a month of off- campus lunch privileges returned. Students with more than 35 tardies are now facing a whole semester before being allowed to walk out Payton’s front doors at lunch time.
Xavier Escalante ‘18, who had lost all of his off-campus lunch privileges under the old policy, commented that the new policy was “kind of disappointing” but that he is “glad [that I] at least get half of the school year, but I cannot get any more tardies this year or I lose that too.”
Payton’s administration described the 24,237 tardies accrued last year as “unacceptable.” The restrictive policy has raised questions as to whether off-campus lunch should be expanded to allow more students off campus.
Helen Gunn ‘18 said, “Many students swipe in late in the morning and will receive limited off-campus lunch privileges. Students at other selective enrollment schools receive off-campus lunch all four years,” and that “Payton students are definitely responsible enough to enjoy off-campus lunch more than just their senior year.”