A high school in Oklahoma is cracking down on students for tardiness and missing class.
Officials at Muskogee High School in Muskogee, Oklahoma are reportedly enforcing a state law that would allow the school to fine students $250 for missing classes repeatedly without an excused absence. The law also states that students could be imprisoned for 15 days for the same reason.
It was not immediately clear what would happen if the fine wasn’t paid.
Muskogee High School Principal Kim Fleak said the fine would apply to students who are late or miss class four times in four weeks, noting that the fines are set by the state and are meant to hold students accountable.
“We had some attendance issues, so this is one of those ways that we’re trying to combat. It’s important to us that kids are in school, in the class, receiving that instruction,” Principal Kim Fleak said.
That said, some parents are not happy with the school’s decision. And at least 400 students have signed a petition that challenges the school’s enforcement of the law.
“There’s no way that I could afford a $250 fine,” said Johanna Hondy, whose daughter attends Muskogee High School. “I don’t know anyone in this town who can afford that really.”
A tenth grade student at the school, Abigail Cochran, is one of the students who signed the petition. She said that getting to and from classes in five minutes might be difficult for students who are commuting across campus.
“There are people wanting to dropout of school because of this, because they know they can’t pay these fines,” Cochran said, suggesting a better option to punish students would be detention.