The crowd of East High students who left the building Friday in protest of the school's tardiness policy was right to do so. To issue citations and impose fines for tardiness is unfair and misguided, and it will not solve the real problem.
Rather, the school should hire Valentine Gorlinski.
She was my human physiology teacher when I was at East. No one was ever late for her class. When students arrived at her classroom, Gorlinski was already in the middle of an experiment, with students crowded around her table. Students would run (not walk) to her classes not to miss anything. She never needed to scream, "Now students, come to attention." All eyes were already upon her.
She was strict but always had a twinkle in her eyes. And a smile. Her love of learning was contagious. She would draw a heart or a kidney on the board and ask, "What do you think?" There was an aura of suspense as she spun her lectures around us.
The problem with punctuality at East High does not lie upon the students. The solution is to hire better teachers. To hire more Valentine Gorlinskis.