Lockport High School students are about evenly divided over the wisdom of a new rule that bars excessive truants from extracurricular activities.
At least, that's how a random sampling of students responded when queried at the Lockport Mall on their holiday break this week.
The new policy, adopted by the Lockport School Board on Dec. 13, requires students to attend class at least 90 percent of the time in order to be eligible to take part in school clubs, sports teams, musical and dramatic performances, field trips and school dances.
The Senior Prom was excluded from the policy.
This means that students whose unexcused absences exceed 10 percent of the total required days of class may not participate in extracurricular activities.
"I think it's a good idea. Why show up after school if you don't show up during school?" said Claudia Link, working as a server at Garfield's restaurant. A senior, Claudia is a former cheerleader and a member of the Foreign Exchange Club.
"That's kind of dumb," sophomore Candice Tester said of the new rule. She and a friend were looking at sneakers at the Foot Locker.
"Yeah," agreed Samantha Haney. "Because we miss half our classes."
They both laughed.
Neither takes part in extracurricular activities, they said, so the rule won't affect them.
"What's 10 percent?" another student wanted to know.
Ten percent, she was told, is one class day out of 10, or skipping school once every two weeks.
A tardy arrival or early departure from school will count as a half-day's absence, but only if the student was present for at least half of that day. If not, it's a day's absence.
"Is this true?" a glum Stacie Marguccio said when informed of the new policy in the Aladdin's Castle game room.
"I'm not in any club," the junior added. "But I do go to dances. I can see where they're coming from." She said her academic average is "70-something."
Tony Blazier, a sophomore, called it a fair rule.
"I personally miss a good amount of school, but I still attend enough to be a member of the bowling team," he said.
A future student of Lockport High also put in his two cents worth.
"I don't like that rule that much," said Ricky Schubert, an eigth-grader at North Park Middle School. "What if you're sick in the hospital?"