Demerits return for Lane students


By Alex Burstein, Aidan Sadovi, and Ruby Thompson

Since March of 2019, Lane students arriving late to class — virtually or in-person — escaped any punishment other than marks on Aspen. 

Heralding the transition to a full return back to school, the administration has decided to reintroduce the demerit system.

Students arriving late to class, and those who cut, will now find themselves at risk of detentions, Saturday Academy or loss of access to events like prom.

But while the consequences remain mostly the same, the demerit system has changed slightly  to ease the burden on students.

Now, at four demerits, students will get a warning, something that did not exist in the past. It will take eight demerits for a student to reach the first consequence: a detention.

As in the past, serving a detention will have four demerits removed, and serving a Saturday Academy will have six demerits removed.

Additionally, two tardies will now be equal to a demerit. One cut will be equal to one demerit. In the past, there was a two demerit penalty for cutting first period, and a one demerit penalty for cutting any other periods, along with a two demerit penalty for a first period tardy and a one demerit penalty for a tardy to any other periods.

For the time being, attendance will be the sole factor for demerits, as the school takes a relaxed approach on dress code, according to Hanly.

“I guess it would depend on if somebody was actually writing a kid up for dress code, but we have not really been following through on some of that yet,” Hanly said.

“I would say [the new demerit system] is a lot better than it was originally proposed and they talked about teachers’ input because during that week there was a teachers meeting,” said Cheyanne Ligutan, a student member of the culture and climate team.

Ligutan said the original proposal for the new demerit system was similar to the one prior to COVID. 

Ligutan met with Assistant Principal Sarah Hanly to talk about the reinstatement of the demerit system before it was announced to the students.

Hanly is one of the main people in charge of making changes to the demerit system, such as adding a warning before any consequences are given.

These recent changes have all been announced to the student body through email; however Angela Schak, a sophomore at Lane, feels these emails might not be enough.

 “They’ve not communicated the changes that well besides an email. … And most students don’t really pay attention to emails anyway,” Schak said.

 While the demerit system has been updated and is less strict than past years, some of the student body remains skeptical.

 “I mean [the student reaction] was of course negative,” said Ligutan, who asked for student opinion on the return [of demerits]. “Everybody just said ‘take it out.’”

 Leandro Nuckols, a senior at Lane, is one of the students who is against the return of demerits. He said that he lives at least an hour away from school, meaning that for him, getting to school by 8:00 a.m. can be a challenge.

 “I know some teachers are lax with it but some are like: If you’re not on time, in your seat then you get a demerit,” Nuckols said. “You shouldn’t be punished for living far away.”

 Nuckols thinks that, instead of punishments, the school should focus on rewarding those who do make it to class on time.

 “What if there was a merit system instead? The demerit system itself, I feel like you shouldn’t take away the ability for a student to go to prom and stuff, just because they don’t come to class on time,” Nuckols said.

 Freshmen and sophomores have never faced the consequence of demerits before unless they attended the Academic Center. 

“I’d say I’m a tiny bit scared of them,” said Schak. “Not a lot. But yeah, I’m nervous I’ll get a few.”

 She also said with the ten-ten rule preventing students from leaving the classroom during the first and last ten minutes of class, students will be faced with a tough decision.

 “There are some really big lines for the girls bathroom,” Schak said. “You have to wait in [line] and then with this new ten-ten rule they just implemented, it’s either you’re tardy or you have to wait 30 minutes to go to the bathroom, which I think is ridiculous.” 

 While some students remain against the return to the demerit system, the administration is sticking with this plan for now. Hanly said the administration is currently working with the tech office to find a way to notify students via email when they reach consequences. Students will not be notified every time they receive a demerit, according to Hanly.

 Ligutan said the main takeaway she got from conversations with Hanly was to instill discipline, but also resilience and perseverance.

“Everybody needs to just step it up just a tish, and get to class because it seems to me everybody has time to go over to Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks, so if they have time to do that they have time to walk into the building on time,” Hanly said.”