After four long years at Jefferson, the class of 2014 has exactly a month until the graduation ceremony, held June 24. Seniors will be spending the next few weeks preparing for tjSTAR, prom, Jefferson Day, graduation and finally, for many, beach week. In all of this excitement was yesterday’s annual senior skip day.
Obviously the administration is not going to excuse senior skip day, nor should they. In an email to seniors, Principal Evan Glazer stated, “the school does not sanction the opportunity to skip a day of learning” and that students should “accept the consequences of an unexcused absence.” Both of these are fair, valid points.
That said, teachers should cut some slack for one day. With Advanced Placement (AP) exams over, the school year is winding down. Seniors and teachers alike are ready for summer vacation and the end-of-year festivities. However, many teachers do not abbreviate their lesson plans for the day at all, causing students to miss coursework.
We cannot say that we expect teachers to do nothing for a whole day. That would be an absurd request. But looking at it, Jefferson seniors deserve a day off. Each and every one has worked hard for four years. Most have kept the “straight and narrow” path, with Jefferson having lower substance usage rates, unexcused absence rates and sexual activity rates compared to other high schools. Most students who skip the day have never broken any serious rules before and are having one day of the fun that all teenagers want.
Additionally, many seniors around the country are done with high school. Some get out after AP exams, others get out more than a week before their underclassmen counterparts. Many schools offer seniors excused final exams, highly decreasing stress levels. Instead, Jefferson seniors somewhat understandably have to work hard through the middle of June. Senior skip day is sort of the least that the seniors can do to have a similar experience.
Let the seniors go to the beach, go to an amusement park or go to the zoo. There seems to be no reason that seniors should face large amount of missed work on a day that they deserve to get off and teachers already know has been planned.