During last week's school board meeting, Brandi Beamon, mother of an Atoka second-grader, requested a change in the system's attendance policy after a tardy resulted in her daughter's disqualification from an award.
Beamon suggested an amendment that would require four tardies the number that would disqualify a student from earning the perfect attendance award.
Currently, one unexcused tardy disqualifies a student from the award.
"Her not getting awards did disappoint me, but there is significant reason …she was awarded a perfect attendance ribbon with her first … she hasn’t missed any days this year at school. She has two tardies, one excused, one unexcused."
Beamon said, when it happened, she didn't review the attendance policy, but most parents wouldn't.
Her daughter's report card, she said, has two tardies recorded during the first semester and none during the second semester.
"I didn’t think any more about them, because I thought four tardies was an absence … we get a report card next spring, and she has a perfect attendance in there, as well as the A-B honor roll ribbon, as well. So I’m assuming she has perfect attendance."
Beamon said during the end of the year awards assembly, her daughter did not receive the awards and she was angered by it.
“When it comes to May 21, awards day, and she doesn’t get a ribbon, I’m in question … and like I said, she has two tardies, one unexcused."
Beamon said she didn't even sign her daughter out for field trips because she believes attendance is important.
"I didn’t sign her out, even when we had challenge field trips or regular field trips, I didn’t sign her out because that would indicate a tardy and I wanted her to be aware that it’s important for her to go to school and your education is important and so forth."
Beamon is upset that the school could not provide her with proof of the tardies and would like the system-wide policy changed.
"My position is, I don’t feel that having one unexcused absence, regardless, is fair to not get your award. I just feel like you should not be able to get your award based on one tardy, whether it’s excused or unexcused.
"So I’m asking you make an amendment to the policy that it’s four tardies, whether excused or unexcused that constitutes an absence, then you will not get your awards, rather than just one unexcused tardy. Does that make sense?”
The board thanked Mrs. Bearmon for her request.