School Rules Anger Students

Megan Pelzel, Staff Writer

On Sept. 5, many seniors were enraged by an assembly held during seminar in the Center for Performing Arts. This assembly was held for the class of 2013, notifying the seniors of the school rules for this year. Students booed and mumbled as the rules were presented.

Rules that caused the uproar included: the doors to the student parking lot will be locked after a certain time each morning; a parent must sign a student out at the attendance office in order to leave during seminar; if a student is absent more than 9 times per semester than the student will lose credit for his or her classes. Not all of the rules were made at Milford High School. Some rules were made by the State Board of Education, such as the attendance policies.

According to the Michigan Department of Education “there are a minimum of 1,098 hours of pupil instruction in a school year.” This means that a student must consistently go to school and have a minimum of 1,098 hours at school or 163 days. Milford High School’s attendance policy defines consistent attendance as “fewer than nine absences in any class during a semester.” If a student exceeds this amount of absences the credit from their classes will be suspended until an appeal is granted.

Dennis Schneider, a senior, disagreed with the policy.

“If you’re passing [a class], you’re passing, if you’re failing [a class], then you’re failing,” he said. “They shouldn’t have their credit taken away.”

Senior, Luke Rea, opposed Schneider’s opinion.  “[The rule] is fair,” he declared. “Nobody should miss 10 days of school for non-excused reasons.”

Colin Tait, a junior, was also annoyed by the school’s policy. “Why did Milford establish a strict attendance policy when the group of failing students it targets isn’t going to show up regardless of the punishment, instead of focusing on them when they are in the school?” he questioned. “The school has completely backward motives and should focus on helping the group of flunking students, rather than punishing the entire student body.”

In Milford High School’s code of conduct it strictly states, “[i]n order to excuse student absences during the school day…requires documentation for an excused absence.” If at any time a student needs to leave school, he or she needs physical evidence, such as a doctor’s note, that the absence is for a legitimate reason. The Absence Policy also stated that “Parents are encouraged to call in, but should realize that a phone call does not necessarily excuse an absence.”

During the assembly it was presented that if a student must leave during seminar, the student’s parents must come into the school and sign the student out. Seminar takes place every Wednesday at 9:03 a.m.

Rea believes that the school is going too far asking for parents to come in and sign their children out. “Parents are busy at work, so kids with a driver’s license should be able to go to doctor appointments without parents wasting hours to pick them up.”

Eric Dziobak, Milford High School’s Assistant Principal, stated his reasons for this rule as an administrator and as a parent. “Security. Students call other students out and we can’t verify [if it is a parent] over the phone. As a parent I wouldn’t want my child let go to anyone who calls.”

During the assembly the administration stated that the locking of the doors to the student parking lot was for the safety of the school. It was said that there have been cases where individuals who were not supposed to be in the school were in the halls and that this is a major safety concern.

Luke Rea felt the doors were an unnecessary safety precaution. “I didn’t [feel the school was unsafe], we already had a cop here and plenty of teachers watching out,” he said with a shrug.

Schneider complained about the inconvenience locking the doors to the student’s parking lot are for students who arrive to school late.

 “The way they’re going about it is a hassle. Locking the doors to the student parking is for our safety, but it is just a hassle.”

Tait was not fearful when the doors were left unlocked all day. He called this rule “ridiculous.”

However Dziobak said that this precaution is for the betterment of the school. “As an administrator, it’s important to secure the building. [The administration] does worry about [the students]. Our biggest priority is your education and safety. We’ve always had a safe building, but we’re always looking to improve.”

After research of other school’s attendance policy, it was found that Walled Lake School District doesn’t automatically take credit away from students because with an extensive number of absences. “Loss of credit and/or failure will not be automatic because of a numerical limit [of absences].”

However, the School District of the City of Flint’s absence policy is much like Milford’s. “After eight absences, the student’s classes shall be closed.”

Although these rules are controversial, they are not up for debate. The administration and the state of Michigan have put these laws in place to better the students’ education.  We are constantly reminded how important education is and how it defines our future.  Some may believe that the faculty should focus more on the individuals that need more help and motivation, with more than 1,400 students attending Milford High School, attending to each individual that needs the attention is difficult. Even though these rules may be directed to all the students in Milford High it may help motivate some students to come to school more regularly and be tardy less often.