Late To Class? You’re Locked Out – Teaching Now – Education Week Teacher

Students at Santa Maria High School in California have two choices each class period: Make it through the door before the bell rings or get locked out. According to an article on, the school implemented this policy last month and decreased the number of tardy students from 200 to 30 in just one week.

Instead of entering class late, which teachers “say directly affects their ability to teach,” students go to detention for the period and their parents are notified. After three consecutive late arrivals, students are sent to the school counselor.

Assistant Principal Pete Flores says they are training students for the “real world” when they’ll be expected to arrive on time to their jobs.

Do you think this is the best way to teach students not to be late? Is it worth teaching that lesson at the expense of instruction time? And in your opinion, does this mimic the real world (For example, has your principal ever locked you out of your classroom for being late)?

This does not mimic the real world. No my administrator has never locked me out for being late. I think the latest I have been to work was 5 minutes. Nobody even noticed. Students were not even in the building yet. For me, if a student comes in late it only really causes a problem based on how they enter the room. If they are quiet and sneak in, I don’t really even notice and most of the time do not even make note of it unless it is habitual. If they come in loud and obnoxious that is a different story. That type of student is taking away from everyone in the room. If they could just come in quietly without being noticed then they are only taking away from themselves.

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