Tardy Policy





In 2002, United Students articulated their specific demands for changing Roosevelt under the "United Students Plan for Roosevelt High School."  


The United Students Plan demanded:

  1. The elimination of the tardy room.
  2. The implementation of Ethnic Studies courses.
  3. The implementation of policies that would ensure that all students are college-eligible by their senior year, including increasing the number of guidance counselors.  


The United Students Plan demanded policies that would provide high levels of support for students to be eligible to enter the California public university systems.


In the spring of 2002, United Students conducted a survey of 800 Roosevelt students and found that over 80% of students said that the tardy room did not encourage them to be on time; in fact, over 50% of students indicated that they would ditch school to avoid the tardy room.


The tardy room was a school-wide policy that held students for an entire class period or school day if they are late (even less than one minute) to class.  This policy failed to address the root cause of the problem, and instead it contributed to pushing students out of school.   


United Students efforts focused on mobilizing students to pressure the school administration to implement a new tardy policy.  The new tardy policy developed by United Students was an alternative to the tardy room and challenged existing punitive measures used by the school to address discipline.  


As part of their campaign, United Students organized meetings between school officials and Roosevelt students, including a student forum on October 4, 2002 that provided an opportunity for United Students to present their concerns and solutions.  On October 5, 2002, L.A. Times printed an article entitled Critics See Wasted Time in Punishment of Tardy Students critiquing the tardy room and citing members of United Students.


By building up student power and utilizing media as means to place pressure on policy makers to meet students demands, United Students won significant parts of the their demands: the implementation of two Mexican American Studies classes, the addition of two more guidance counselors, and the elimination of the tardy room.