It's not a new phenomena, but senior skip day in the modern high school is exponentially more effective today than even five years ago. Thanks interwebs.
I remember my high school days, the tradition of senior skip day fell on the same day every year. I can't be sure, but I bet it was even partially engineered by teachers and administrators to give students a little sense of power or maybe just a little outlet for some harmless rebellion.
When I started teaching, students had taken the initiative to call the "senior skip day" at their pleasure. It was a tricky task because one could never be certain that the message would spread, or even heeded if so. The skip day had to coincide with expected good weather and some other motivating event like prom or a three day weekend. Calling the skip day came with risk, because if a critical mass didn't participate, students could miss too much at school that day.
I guess we can blame it on twitter. Senior skip days are now more effective and efficient than at any other time in history. A premature call on the skip day will quickly be shot down by others, and lack of participation comes with early warning and I've known of more than a few events that have been called off at the last minute.
Today was not one of those days. Out of sixty-five students who were supposed to be in class today, I had twenty show up. Ten of them were juniors. The AP test for my class is exactly three weeks from today. We've missed over a dozen days of class this year. We had a full week (plus one day) of Spring Break the week before last. Today seemed like a good day for a skip day.
Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?