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High school to fine tardy students

Posted at 7:10 AM, Sep 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-05 07:10:01-04

SALT LAKE CITY, UT (KSTV/CNN) - A high school is now fining students for being tardy, but the new policy isn't sitting well with some parents.

Students who are chronically late will be required to pay a fine.

The first offense draws a warning. If they're caught a second time they'll have to pay a $3 fine, and after that the fee goes up to $5.

Only administrators, not teachers, will issue the tickets.

"We received an email from the school district that outlined the policy," said parent Julie Rae said, whose son attends Stansbury High.

"I feel like it's flawed logic on behalf of the school." Rae said.

Rae said she agreed the fines can teach students personal accountability and responsibility, but she said administrators should have consulted with parents beforehand to get their input.

"I think it's just going to be a band-aid to an actual problem that could be resolved with different methods," Rae said.

Stansbury High's Principal Gailynn Warr and Assistant Principal Cody Reutzel said they're already seeing a big improvement.

"We just implemented it on Tuesday, and this week we've handed out just warnings, no fines at all," Warr said. 

"What we're really trying to target is those periods between classes where really it's a choice. It's a personal decision of whether you're going to walk from class A to class B and be on time," Reutzel said.

Some parents like Brett Dennison thinks the school is just trying to nickle and dime students.  

"There's a lot of families out there that are economically stressed. They're not gonna be able to pay these fines." he said.

If students can't pay the fees, they can take lunch detention or show a clean tardy attendance for a few weeks.

The money collected from the fines will go towards a school fund that will go directly back to students for incentives.

"We're not after the money. We just want our kids to be in class," Warr said.

The administration is promising to update parents this week about the new policy and the results they're seeing.

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