Absent From Assemblies

Eve Loehrer, Staff Writer

Thursday’s seminar is an opportunity to do homework and finish projects, and it also has the lowest attendance of any other class. Upperclassmen, especially, leave school during this time.

Ruth Graves in the attendance office said that around 75 passes to leave school are written on most days of the week, but the number increases on Thursdays, with over one hundred passes written.

“It’s awful for our office aides,” Graves said.

Many clubs and other activities also meet during seminar. However, those without homework or meetings have no reason to be there.

“While [seminar] is useful for some, it is not used for others,” senior Janhvi Parsai said. “Leaving early provides students an opportunity to do other things like catch up on sleep, relax, or get a bite to eat.”

“I don’t leave every day, but when I do it’s usually because there’s no movement or there’s some special event I don’t feel the need to attend,” sophomore Solana Oquendo said.

Senior Eddie Dai stays at school during seminar because he has Science Olympiad after school.

“I personally just look at my phone the entire time and don’t get anything done, but if I needed to, I could take a quiz or a test during that time,” Dai said.

Some teachers, like freshman English teacher Amanda Fleetwood, have given reasons for students to stay at school for seminar.

“We take out the trash in the 100 and 200 hallways every Thursday [during seminar],” Fleetwood said. “Hopefully it gives them a reason other than homework and everything to be there.”

Pep assembly days have even more absences, with 350 to 400 passes written.

“I don’t feel the need to attend those because they are kind of just supposed to be for fun and I’m not super interested,” Oquendo said.

On Thursday, November 7th, seminar was moved to earlier in the day so every student would attend the Diversity assembly.

“I think it increased attendance a little bit, but the people who didn’t want to go still skipped,” Dai said.

Seminar is an opportunity, whether students spend the time in school or out.

“In high school we are given more freedom, and an important freedom is the freedom of choice,” Parsai said. “If students don’t want to be at seminar or pep assemblies, then they should not be forced. They should have their choice of where they want to spend their time if it does not affect their academics.”