You’re Late!

You’re late. And what are you going to do about it?

Several years ago I found myself at school late on a Friday night. I was loosely supervising Jill and India Carson, awaiting the arrival of their mother – the last parent to come and pick up the last two students in Friday Night School.

Friday Night School is an intermediary consequence for students whose misbehavior might otherwise be cause for suspension from school. Instead of being suspended or otherwise removed from class, they stay with me on Friday night. Middle school students stay an hour and a half, high schoolers two and a half hours. FNS ends at 6:30. It was 7:30, and the older sister had just called their mom again to confirm that she really was on her way. She said she was “leaving now.”

I was only mildly hopeful. She was, after all, already an hour late, and we had earlier received the exact same reassurance. They lived roughly 10 minutes from school.

It happens that these sisters had received FNS because of tardiness. Chronic, repeated, and extended tardiness. At the time, we had a system of interventions in place. It worked something like this:


Each quarter we “re-set” the system, and students were understood to again have zero tardies, and they started up the discipline ladder all over again.

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