Absent students: why are they even in class?


Jessica Adair, Staff Writer/Columnist

The definition of an absent student is often inaccurate. Many define an absent student as a student who doesn’t show up for class, but personally, I believe an absent student is a student who is there physically, but not emotionally or psychologically.

An absent student is that kid who is staring at the wall, counting the minutes until class is over. An absent student is that person who texts under his or her texts everyday, no matter how many times the teacher tells him or her to put their phone away. An absent student is a student who refuses to participate and contribute to class discussion because he or she is unprepared for class. Absent students always slow the class down, and that is why I have a huge problem with them.

We are required to go to school and sit in our tiny desks everyday for almost seven hours. What I don’t understand is why these people try to fight that. We are all in the same boat and we are all required to do the same thing, so why not make the most of it? But somehow these absent students think they can get around that by not participating, which not only wastes their time, but the also the teacher’s time.

In one of my classes, there is always one girl who is caught not paying attention and playing on her phone. Each time my teacher busts her, she always gets really angry and embarrassed. But what did she expect? A medal of honor for wasting everybody’s class time? A round of applause?

In this same class, we have discussions everyday about our homework or classwork. During these discussions, there are always at least eight people who simply just say “I don’t know” when they are called on. Every time this happens I slam my head into the desk and wonder why these people think it’s acceptable to do this. They should at least formulate some type of answer so that they don’t humiliate themselves.

But what annoys me more is when a student says, “I got the same answer as the last person who answered the question.” Maybe this is true because sometimes there is that awkward situation when you have the exact same answer as the person called on before you, and you are forced to come up with a mediocre answer on the spot. But when I look at this student and see that there is nothing written down on her paper, I know that this person is flat-out lying.

This infuriates me because this person is putting on the persona that he or she is engaged in the conversation with the class, when in fact, she is just as absent as the kid drooling in the corner.

Students should either come to class prepared and ready to participate or not come at all. Because even though we are required to go to school, what is the point of showing up if we aren’t going to learn. Absent students should think twice before they come to class unprepared because their actions affect the class as a whole and that’s just the way it is.