Students miss 744 classes on senior ditch day

By Chloe Lister

Students missed a total of 744 classes on April 20, this year’s senior ditch day, Head of Attendance Gabriel Preciado said. Additionally, many students missed part of the day, according to Preciado.

Of the 744 classes missed, 44 had been excused by green slips or parents’ notes. At press time, the number of students who actually ditched had not yet been determined.

“Mostly, ditch day coincides with April 20,” Preciado said. “There were times where they had 4/20 and a few ditch days but that didn’t really work out.”

“420, 4:20 or 4/20 (pronounced four-twenty) refers to consumption of cannabis and, by extension, a way to identify oneself with cannabis subculture. The notable day for these is April 20,” according to Wikipedia. The website also cites the coining of the term by a group of teenagers in San Raphael, Calif., who used 4:20 p.m. as their meeting time to search for an abandoned cannabis crop. The phase was eventually adopted by teenagers as a code name for cannabis.

For this year’s senior ditch day, there was only a single activity planned, a pool party and barbeque at one senior’s house.

“I had a birthday party for my friend’s dog, Rocky,” the senior who threw the party said. “I like throwing parties.”

There were about 30 people at the party during school, a person who attended said, and at least 10 more joined after school ended.

“It was literally just people sitting around eating hot dogs,” a senior who attended the ditch day party said. “That was pretty much all we did. We ate Jamaican jerk chicken too. It was bomb.”

Only one person attended English teacher Geri Harding’s fifth period AP English Language and Composition class. She said that she and the senior ended up “chatting,” but that she did not teach.

“Around this time of year, though, seniors are visiting colleges so I know that some had green slips, which makes it hard to determine how many students actually ditched,” Harding said.

On the Class of 2010’s ditch day, April 26, 2010, there were 91 students absent from school. In 2006, there were 67 absences, 73 in 2007, 58 in 2008 and 63 in 2009, Preciado said.