Go To School!


Sick Monday.  

Appointment Tuesday.

Woke up at 2:30 Wednesday. 

Just like that, ⅓ of the days a Lakeland High School student can miss is used up. 

With the second semester starting, attendance starts again. 

According to the Lakeland School District Student Handbook, credits will be taken away from students missing more than nine (9) days per semester. Once credits are taken away, the student can petition for their grades back within ten days. The principals will consider all information and reasons when deciding whether to approve or disprove a petition. 

Criteria considered when reviewing a petition for a waiver of the attendance policy are: circumstances beyond control, district-approved testing or counseling, documented illness, death in the family, activities involving state or national recognition, legal proceedings, family emergency, IHSAA competitions, students with Individualized Education Plan, any other circumstance can be discussed. 

Many students and parents disagree with this rule, but district officials reinstated it into the handbook during the 2022-23 first semester now that Covid is generally not a pressing concern. 

Ella Haug, a junior at LHS, has tried her best to be at school all day, every day but sometimes doesn’t have it in her. She thinks the nine-day rule is a smart idea that keeps students in class more. In the winter months, with sickness and the winter blues, it can be hard to show up ready to learn. 

“School is a job in itself. Sometimes it’s nice to have a day off,” Haug said. 

Students and teachers have different opinions on every aspect of school, but everyone attends LHS for the same reason. Teachers are here to teach, and students are here to learn; showing up is an important part of this. 

Dustin Frank, a principal assistant at LHS, thinks that the expectation and accountability that comes from the nine-day rule is a good thing. The second semester consists of 90 school days, nine days is 10% of 90. What would one’s boss do to an employee who missed 10% of their workdays? 

Frank did not miss a lot of school because he knew that it would impact his future and make him successful in the future. With sports he participated in, he had to be at school in order to practice and play. He also generally enjoyed school.

“I appreciated my teachers and enjoyed being around my classmates,” said Frank.

Enjoying and embracing school can generally make students show up more. The environment makes an impact. 

Shannon Lafountain, a principal assistant at LHS, thinks that only some students at LHS miss a lot of school. When certain students miss too much school, a punishment results. 

Unexcused absences result in lunch detentions, and excessive avoidable absences may result in being referred to the school board for truancy. Violations of the attendance policy require the attendance petition to be completed and may result in the loss of credits. 

“Show up to school:) Whenever possible, make appointments after school or on nonschool days. We love seeing you all at school! Working with students is why we all got into this business,” Lafountain said. 

In order to avoid being punished, go to school. 

I personally do not miss school unless I am very sick or have a predetermined arrangement. During the second semester, I will miss about 25 school days because I am a professional snowmobile hill climb racer. Since I know I will miss the days the school wants me to get pre-approved to keep credits to graduate. Not going to races is not an option. Sponsors count on me being there. 

From the student “Activities involving state or national recognition,” I do not see why I have to petition because I compete at the World Championships, making it state and nationally recognized. 

Go to school!