No Tolerance Policy

by Christa Lollis

When the tardy bell rings the halls of Lufkin high school should be empty but there are always a few stragglers. "It typically was about kids who were engaging in spit swapping, hand holding, or other untoured behavior that moms and dads didn't raise them to engage in the hallway," Superintendent Roy Knight said.

With LISD's no tolerance policy, strolling the halls when you're supposed to be in class could land students in detention or suspended. Most parents we talked to were ok with that. Zebby Gray, a parent who's for the policy said, "Kids come to school to learn and by them skipping class being in the hall they can't learn what they're supposed to learn."

The superintendent feels that timeliness is one of the many lessons students are expected to learn. "Our moms and dads expect our kids to learn about being at work on time and it's a real fundamental lesson about work ethic being where you're supposed to, accountability, being where you be at the appropriate times," he explained. So during random sweeps the students are taken out of the halls and into the cafeteria but that causes them to miss the class completely and while this parent agrees tardiness is unacceptable he's not so sure the kinks are worked out. "I think one of the worst punishments you can do is put him back in that class he's trying to miss not taking him to the cafeteria and giving him what he wants," Thomas Maxwell said.

But other parents say, if you do the crime, do the time. Gray says, "Kids know the rules. They know the regulations. They know the procedures. They know the consequences so there's no excuses." And every time the sweeps begin, the number of tardies goes down.