Students at Marshall Islands High School are being denied entry to their classes after 8:15am. The school gate still remains open, but the school administration has advised teachers to send students home and not let them in.
According to a MIHS administrator this is not a new policy and it is to discipline students to be punctual. Many students feel that their right to get an education is violated. But to the school administration, this is not the case.
This policy was enforced earlier this month. Principal Barbara Ned said that they didn’t implement this policy during the first semester of the school year because of rampant cases of Covid-19. The effect of this policy has led to a dwindling number of students in classes causing attendance at the school to plummet.
Vice Principal of Student Affairs Marty Mark told the Journal that there is an exception to this policy. “If students have a good reason to be late, provide a letter from home, we will write an excuse slip for them to return to their classes,” he said.
He said that as the largest school in the country the problem of attendance and students coming late was conspicuous ever since the number of students enrolled soared over the past decade.
From the perspective of the students, many of the more than 1,100 students at MIHS blame the lack of transportation, taxi cabs being full in the mornings, and the heavy traffic on the road as reasons for their tardiness.
For its part, MIHS only has one school bus for 1,100 students.