Wake Up Sleepyheads

Wednesday, March 9, 2011 - 10:05am

High school gives chronically tardy students surprise wake up calls.

School officials in Fall River, Massachusetts plan on giving some students who can’t seem to make it to class on time a wake-up call starting Wednesday.

“We talk about the fact that you can’t educate an empty chair,” said principal Paul Marshall.

Marshall, principal of BMC Durfee High School, says starting Wednesday students who are chronically absent or late without an excuse will receive the call at 6:15 a.m.

“If they end up going to a job and they’re late to their job or they’re not showing up or communicating they won’t belong in that job,” said Marshall.

Some parents say that’s not the sound they want to hear in the morning and believe that the school is overstepping its bounds.

“I think that’s the parents’ responsibility,” said Tony Pavo. “I don’t think that’s nothing to do with school.”

That call is also meant to be a wake-up call for parents.

“They’re going to hold up accountable for the results and we need to hold them accountable for their end of the job,” said Marshall.

“It can’t be just about the calls. It’s really about the overall effort,” said vice principal Ross Thibault.

The vice principal has also been making surprise home visits to help find out what’s keeping the kids out of school.

“Sometimes because it is early evening they’re already in their pajamas or they’re cooking dinner or they’re making dinner - yeah, they are shocked,” said Thibault.

Some parents say the methods may be unusual, but they are okay if the results are there.

“Whatever it takes. Whatever needs to be done,” said Stephanie Smith.

School officials say the 6:15 a.m. wake-up calls will continue until either the kids start arriving at school each day on time or the parents return the phone call and explain what they problem is and figure out a solution.

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