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What John Marshall High School’s tardy sweeps mean for students

Assistant Principle Laura Martinez discusses tardy sweeps and new campus policy.
<a href="https://highschool.latimes.com/author/ethanteacher/" target="_self">Ethan Teacher</a>

Ethan Teacher

November 4, 2022
Students at John Marshall High School have grown increasingly accustomed to “tardy sweeps,” a recently introduced policy aimed at reducing the amount of late and tardy students. Although tardy sweeps have been received with mixed reviews by students, Assistant Principle Laura Martinez, whose duties include overseeing facilities and discipline, sat down with me to garner an understanding of this policy.

Note: This interview took place prior to the recent student unrest at Marshall.

Ms. Martinez handles the support of students and staff at Marshall, especially those who are struggling. According to her, tardiness was a more severe occurrence last year. Students could be seen ditching, wandering around, and arriving late.

“Kids were everywhere,” she said. 

As a response, this year the school has implemented the aforementioned tardy sweeps. These sweeps occur after Nutrition and Lunch, find any students outside right after the bell, and record their names to assign them 30 minutes of campus cleanup. While this does not happen every day, there are plans in the works to have them further encompass other passing periods instead of just after the student’s breaks.

Martinez said that at the end of the day it’s the repeat offenders, the chronically ditching and late, who will find themselves affected by this. That is the intended impact of the sweeps: to maintain a more calm and safe campus, and to offer more intervention to the frequently occurring faces seen outside of classes. She expressed a sentiment of wanting more help and active assistance offered to chronic students, believing more is necessary.

Though not every student caught up in a tardy sweep might be intentionally late, Marshall is a big campus. Martinez said she sees how if a student is traveling from one end of the campus to another, especially if on the third floor of one of the school’s many buildings, they might end up being late by the circumstance of their location alone. Despite that, she said that has not been a reported occurrence.

It is worth noting that for students who ran into a tardy sweep due to a medical issue, they can try and speak to Martinez or one of her peers in the office, or the school counselors, to see about potentially removing their campus cleanup time as it is the result of a matter outside of their control.