Students are tardy for a variety of reasons, but being late to class can become a habit that can have a negative effect on their success in school. Schools often establish an attendance policy that includes punishment for multiple tardies. A firm policy can help schools promote student punctuality and accountability -- traits that students can carry with them even after they finish school.
Showing up to late to class, especially multiple times, can have the effect of other people losing respect for you. Your teacher and student peers can see that you do not show up on time, which can often imply that you feel a sense of apathy or disregard for your education.
Disciplinary actions are often taken upon students who are tardy to classes. Students may be given a detention for the first couple offenses, but then the discipline may become more severe with a suspension. Students may also lose points towards their final grade in the class if they are late on numerous occasions.
Students who are late to classes may fall behind in their classroom work. If a student misses the first part of a lecture, for example, he may miss the notes that he will need to study for an upcoming exam. Some teachers do not accept late homework, so they will not permit a student to turn in a homework assignment if he is tardy. This can result in an incomplete or failing grade for the work.
Students who are late to class are less likely to feel organized and prepared when they enter the class after a lesson is already in session. The student may be embarrassed for his classroom disruption upon entering late and may not be able to take out his necessary materials without causing further disruption. Also, he may not be aware of what page the classroom is reading in a textbook, for example, or whether there will be a quiz on the material the class is studying.