Sweeping up Chamblee’s Tardy Students


Photo courtesy of the Blue & Gold

Students hurry to class

Shea Parker, Staff Writer

As we have gotten further into the school year, new policies are starting to be enforced. One of these new policies has been dubbed “Hallway Sweeps.”

“In a very general term, it’s about us, [the Chamblee staff,] encouraging students to report to class on time,” said Assistant Principal of Discipline, Safety & Security Ferrun Johnson. “For those students who are not in their class at the designated time, […] we asked the teachers to have the door closed. For those students who are technically tardy at that time, […] we have a software that […] records the tardies.”

The school started enforcing this policy because they were getting complaints from staff about the surge in students showing up late to class or wandering the halls during class time.

“When the bell rings, the bell rings,” said Chamblee’s Principal Gail Barnes. “We have a large amount of students still taking their time and […] speaking with our staff, they were very concerned with a number of students that are getting to class late [… and] missing that [instructional time].”

The staff believes this new policy will help students make more use of their instructional time.

“Right now, we’re on a tight knit schedule. […] Our goal is for our students to get the maximum amount of time in the classroom to benefit their learning,” said Johnson.

With this new policy, there is some backlash from the student body.

“I think [hallway sweeps are] unnecessary because […] some people have longer to walk,” said sophomore Megan McCloskey (‘24). “Imagine going from the fourth floor to the trailers, […] that takes a long time. What if you just don’t get to class on time, or what if you had to use the bathroom and it just took a long time? You know there are so many circumstances.”

Students who have experienced this “sweep” first hand question their effectiveness.

“They’re just making us more late. […] I walked out of the bathroom and I was […] 30 seconds late, and I was right across the hall from my class. […] It took like 15 minutes,” said senior Duncan NeSmith (‘22).

Junior Reagan Kuehne (‘23) had a similar experience.

“I was 30 seconds away from my class when they swept me and made me 10 minutes late to class. [..] They make everyone line up and you can’t get past them. They […] trap you on […] both sides of the hallway, and they make you wait in line […] for these ladies to write you a pass, then they put your name in the computer,” she said.

Teachers are supposed to close the door as soon as the bell rings, leaving the students in the hall to get swept up. Some disagree with how quickly the sweep occurs.

“They should do them five minutes after the bell rings,” said freshman Shea Fagan (‘25).

The main goals of the hallway sweeps remain unclear to many students and their effectiveness is being questioned.

“I guess they could be effective because less people will be late but it’s not effective because […] it’s not really stopping anyone from […] wanting to skip,” said Kuehne.

The overall idea is, this policy will force students to make the most of the class time and hopefully encourage them to show up and be in class on time.

“[Our goal] is for our students to get the maximum amount of time in the classroom to benefit their learning,” said Johnson.