Finals vs ‘Fluenza


Photo by: Sophia Williams

Senior Forest Mason suffers through his cold at school to avoid the absences.

Sophia Williams, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Imagine a world in which finals do not exist, or rather, do not exist for a select few. This is the new reality Adams High School students now face with the implementation of a new attendance policy. The policy states, in part,:

“We will begin a second semester exam incentive where students who meet certain criteria may choose to opt out of their final exams if they meet the following criteria:

  1. No more than 3 absences in any class
  2. Minimum grade of 77% in the class, or
  3. Minimum grade of 65% AND no missing assignments or assessments in the class
  4. No second semester suspensions”

Pretty reasonable, right? It is, except for the fact that it is a hindrance to students with health issues (mental and physical) and students with family emergencies.  To put it simply, this policy does not help every student.

The only “justified” absences are school-related ones, including field trips, which is more than a little bit messed up. According to this new attendance policy, field trips constitute as worthy of missing school, but not influenza or a death in the family.

To be fair, however, the new policy eradicates absence limits, thus allowing students to miss more school without penalty. In the previous policy, there was a limit to how many absences a student could take, and if the student exceeded that limit, their grades would drop.  For students with health issues or those who miss school frequently, this is a quasi-blessing.

The issue of this policy is not the obscene impropriety (which is another topic entirely) of it, but rather the consequences that occur because of it. The previous absence limits coupled with the rigorous academic nature of Adams High School encouraged students to come to school sick. Now, with the promise of skipping final exams, students are more determined than ever to not miss school, no matter the circumstances.

“What if you have pneumonia or something like that? I just think the whole thing is stupid,” said sophomore Ian Gooderham.

Even teachers are dropping like flies, contracting the illnesses which students carry. Jumbo-sized hand sanitizer bottles clutter classrooms as teachers attempt to swat away teenage illnesses. It is an uphill battle trying to promote good hygiene in such depriving times.

“If you come to school sick, stay away from me,” said language arts teacher, Mrs. Jean Bolinger.

Students need to understand that coming to school sick affects more people than just themselves. Nearly every contagious illness wipes out the student body in a matter of weeks, and that is completely disgusting. Additionally, what good is coming to school sick in the first place? Fever hallucinations do not aid the studying process. All in all, what is the harm of taking a day off in the name of personal health? Read a book, eat some soup, and protect the wellness of Adams High.