To Skip, or Not to Skip? That is the Question.

To Skip, or Not to Skip? That is the Question.

Skipping class is an ongoing issue with students at West Po. According to resource teacher Mr. Donnel Fisher, tardy rates and referral rates were not accurate due to the pandemic. Because there were very minimal unexcused tardies and absences, since many things were excused, Mr. Fisher could not give us accurate data.

A study in journal American Education Research Association Open mentions, “Some authors have categorized the reasons for absences as pull or push factors, where pull factors are located outside the school and pull students away from attending and push factors are located within the school and push students out of school.”

These “pull” or “push” factors may differ for each student, but there are many reasons that contribute to a student skipping class. A “pull” factor could be wanting to hang out with friends outside of school, whereas a “push” factor could be the workload in a classroom.

Students were willing to talk with us about skipping but did not want their names used as they are aware they are supposed to be in class. The most common reason for students skipping is caused by the class itself.

 “I think students skip class because of the work or to avoid something going on in class,” remarks a freshman student, who skips classes every week.

However, some students claim to miss class to focus on their mental health.

 “I skip to clear my mind,” a sophomore said.

 As the usage of electronic devices have been prohibited in schools around the county this year, many students skip due to the fact that phones are not allowed in the classroom. “I skip class because it’s boring or because I don’t have access to my phone,” stated a junior.

There are numerous areas students can go to skip class. Students can be seen wandering the halls, going outside of the school premises, despite the “under one roof ” rule, and in the bathrooms.

The 400-level bathroom in the English corner is notoriously full during advisory periods although, sometimes it’s not filled with kids who need to use the toilets, “…kids [are] vaping, sometimes with weed…Kids [are] yelling and screaming so loud that I could hear it through the walls,” Mrs. Mathewson, the English teacher whose class is next door, commented. Many other teachers have become very concerned for students who choose to skip class. However, they can only do so much to help their students.

“It’s a choice in high school, I wish we could change this, but it’s not our choice,” Ms. Gervacio, English teacher, said.

Skipping class can have a detrimental effect on students’ academic performance. The majority of students who miss class tend to not know important information in their classes. Not only do they disturb their own learning, they also disturb other students by hanging out in certain areas around the school. 

“I like to do my assignments during class, but sometimes it can be noisy from the bathrooms. I personally would rather talk to my friends in class rather than skipping class,” Deborah Burke, freshman, remarked.

“Skipping isn’t going to get you anywhere. It just puts you behind on work, and doesn’t move you forward toward a future with any job,” Matthewson said.