For Muskogee High School students, being late to class is no joke. While other schools might reprimand students or send them to detention for poor attendance, this school is taking things to the next level by imposing monetary fines. This means that anyone who is late to class, or skips class four times over a period of four weeks, can be fined a whopping $250, according to Fox News.
However, students aren’t accepting this new rule without a fight. A petition has been circulating, which has now reportedly amassed over 400 signatures. And more so than the students, the parents are concerned as well. Because after all, they’re likely to be the ones who’d end up paying the hefty fee. One parent, Johanna Hondy, expressed her opinions on the matter.
“There’s no way that I could afford a $250 fine. I don’t know anyone in this town who can afford that really.”
A student, Abigail Cochran, also added that sometimes it’s difficult to get to a class on time. Not because the students are lazy or don’t want to be there, but because the five minutes between classes isn’t enough for people who have to get across campus. She also made an interesting point.
“There are people wanting to dropout of school because of this, because they know they can’t pay these fines.”
So far, it’s unclear what the consequences would be for not paying the fine. Also, it’s unclear what would happen with all of the money collected from fines.
Welcome to Muskogee!!! Oklahoma high school to fine students for tardiness, missing classhttps://t.co/fmfQsJTwcn
— IAMARIZONA (@IAMAZONIE) August 26, 2018
On the other hand, Principal Kim Fleak thinks that the fine system is a great solution to an old problem.
“We had some attendance issues. So, this is one of those ways that we’re trying to combat. It’s important to us that these kids are in school, in the class, receiving that instruction and having that time with teachers in seats.”
And while students protest the new fine, Fleak says that it’s just a state law that they’re now enforcing. It’s difficult to know how well this is going to pan out in the long run, however, as student discontent about the new enforcement is rising. Cochran said that unless the administration is willing to consider the students’ petition, that there will be a walkout on September 13, detailed Fox 25 News.
It’s not just the $250 fine that was recently instated, either. New protocols state that students can’t “wander” during lunch, the lunch period is now shorter, and class time is longer.
Muskogee students and parents are upset after the high school began fining kids for being late and missing class too many times. Find out why the school is doing this, and what students are doing to combat the change at 6 on @KTULNews. #oknews pic.twitter.com/eCH4889Aya
— Haley Hughey (@haleyhughey) August 23, 2018