Senior cut day tradition: not just for seniors anymore?

Kaitlyn Lucey, Editor-in-Chief

It happens every year. Seniors, with A.P. testing over and graduation fast approaching, forgo school for one day and instead visit the beach, go to an amusement park, take a trip to New York City, or just hang out with their friends. Often times, this seemingly harmless tradition — which is as normal to every high school around the country as prom, arguably — attracts more and more students in other grades each year.

This year’s unofficial senior cut day was on the Friday was on May 22. The fact that this day was a make-up day for snow day that occurred on January 27, and because it was the Friday before a three-day weekend, made it the perfect time for seniors to relax. But did more than just seniors cut on senior cut day?

“I definitely noticed that my classes were more empty than usual, and most of my classes don’t even have seniors in them,” junior Leslie Fiene said.

Indeed, many classes did seem to be missing quite a few people. In the classes that barely managed having half of students present, teachers were forced to choose between teaching new material, thus requiring absent students to make up missed work, or changing their plans altogether.  As a result, both absent and present students’ educations were put at risk because of the senior tradition.

“I had less than ten people in all of my classes…I was totally unable to teach new material because I was lacking so many students in class,” math teacher Mrs. Price said.

Not surprisingly, the second floor hallway, where most of the seniors typically spend time between classes, seemed positively vacant.

“There were more [than just seniors] absent…We expect students to be in school [on senior cut day], especially if they are not seniors,” one attendance office staff member said.

Yet, many students of MHS, regardless of grade level, seemed to positively ignore these expectations put forth by the district and instead chose to spend the day as they please.

“I didn’t go to school on Friday because I knew a lot of people weren’t going to be there…and I could give myself a day off,” an anonymous Massapequa High School student said.

Administration, however, feels that students — seniors in particular — do not have the right to pick and choose their days of attendance. Ultimately, the relationship between attendance and academic success is undeniable.

“I think [senior cut day] is way out of hand,” Dean of Students Mr. Howard said. “Seniors have this sense of entitlement. Whenever there’s a three day weekend or a make up day for a snow day, kids want to miss an extra day of school.”

In order to prevent widespread senior cut days in the future, administration is considering a new policy that would impact senior events like the senior picnic.

“If attendance falls below a certain benchmark on any two days, certain events may be done away with,” Mr. Howard said.

Others seem to feel that senior cut day should not be made out to be a big deal.

“I don’t think it matters because people stay home from school just because they [do not] feel like it everyday,” junior Ethan Sausa said.

Ultimately, while students of all grades are certainly absent on a day-to-day basis, attendance between all grades seems to be especially lacking on senior cut day.

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