Tardiness is the second most common cause for discipline in the Hillsborough County Public Schools. Black and Hispanic students are disciplined more often than white students.
So it stands to reason, community leaders say, that rethinking tardiness policies could reduce the discipline statistics and the disparity.
More relaxed policies also could help students spend more time in class instead of in the school’s front office. “Your punishment for not being there is to not be there even more,” said Michael Pheneger of the American Civil Liberties Union, who is also a member of a school district task force on race and discipline.
The task force, which has struggled since the district formed it more than a year ago, is trying to get on track and deliver concrete recommendations to the administration by March...