Senior Ditch Day at Hoover High was on Monday. A tradition as old as dirt. Each year seniors pick a day and, with today's social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter, alert one another about which day to ditch. How funny that Monday’s weather was cool and overcast, not exactly the best day to hang out at the beach.
Not to sound like an old fogey, but schools should clamp down on official or unofficial ditch days. This wasn’t the only ditch day of the year either. Who is excusing the students for their absences? The parents?
What about threatening seniors with not crossing the stage at graduation if they’re truant?
It’s sort of distasteful not to mention hypocritical that in fewer than 10 days there will be a huge graduation ceremony that is to celebrate the wonderful lives of these young people, the same kids who thought nothing of throwing away a day of school just because it’s the thing to do.
Or, reward those who attend school like giving them free In-N-Out coupons. I had one senior show up to school Monday and I wanted to give him a hug.
If I was a senior and wanted to ditch, the last thing I’d do is do it on the official ditch day so it doesn’t look like I’m a cow following the herd.
Funny how challenging it is for schools to get students as a group to do anything, whether it’s attend an important football game, support their own clubs, or help out in the community. But ditch day is the one event that unifies them. It’s probably the one time in all four years of high school when an entire class acts as one.
Imagine the power that those seniors could wield if they took that day and actually did something productive with their time, like visit a senior citizen home, or clean up their city.
Now that would be a senior class I would give a standing ovation to at graduation.
BRIAN CROSBY is a teacher in the Glendale Unified School District and the author of Smart Kids, Bad Schools and The $100,000 Teacher. He can be reached at brian-crosby.com.