In some countries, open campus is widely accepted. For example, French students have a two-hour lunch break from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. During their two-hour lunch break, they can eat at home or at a restaurant.
But students in the Philippines have a tougher schedule. They have only two 15 minute breaks and an hour for lunch. My cousin who attended school in the Philippines said it’s hard for kids to leave school during the day because of the strict security and tough teachers.
What schedule would be best for American schools?
Having breaks between classes is great, but having breaks off campus is even better. There are several positive aspects about open campus, including simple conveniences such as being able to eat a variety of meals during lunchtime, rather than the predictable cafeteria cuisine, as well as having the opportunity to take a break at home.
However, there are more reasons I disagree with allowing high school students the privilege of an open campus. Sure, it’s great being able to escape school for a while, but soon enough that may easily become the rest of the day.
If open campus is allowed, it is very possible that such freedom will make it all too easy for students to skip their afternoon classes. Of course, there will be students responsible enough to have the motivation to come back to school.
However, unexpected problems such as heavy traffic, city bus delays or cars breaking down may prevent them from returning to school. It benefits the students to stay in school during lunch hours to avoid tardiness and transportation issues.
Depending on how close the school is to restaurants and students’ homes, open campus could, in essence, be a great idea. Unfortunately though, the majority of Kalamazoo public schools are not located conveniently enough to these retreats, thus causing the negative results to outweigh the positives in the end.
Can I have one double-cheeseburger, minus pickles, a large pop and a medium fry?” This question seems harmless, but apparently to school administrators, it’s deadly.
Some schools, like my school, do not approve of off-campus lunch. Why?
Some general answers are that teenagers are irresponsible, reckless and not mature enough to handle that kind of freedom; therefore, they become a liability to the school.
Now, I know that we teenagers aren’t always the sharpest crayons in the box, but, come on, there aren’t that many choices on the McDonald’s value meal menu.
As far as a healthy diet, what we eat during off-campus lunch can’t be any worse than when we have the surprise meal on the school menu that looks like a combination of all the leftovers from the last week’s lunches, smothered with melted cheese on top.
So maybe we need to prove that we can handle deciding where and what we want to eat at lunch without being late to class and/or being reckless when leaving from and returning to school. Give us a chance, please?
Make off-campus lunch possible for upperclassmen. With more than two years of high school under our belts, braces freshly off and more than 50 hours experience behind the wheel, we should be eligible. Make off-campus lunch an incentive for underclassmen to achieve as upperclassmen.
We want freedom, so we will work for it. Set a grade-point average requirement, a no-tolerance truancy policy, only having off-campus lunch on certain days, or anything within reason. Or better yet, even offer off-campus lunch to those with adult status.
Whatever the reasons may be that we are not allowed the freedom of choosing where and what we want to eat, let us prove to you that teenagers can be responsible, cautious and, more importantly, mature adults.
Tragic events like the shooting at Columbine High School have spotlighted the need for higher security precautions in high schools. Open-campus lunch makes it nearly impossible to screen people coming onto campus during the school day, which jeopardizes students’ safety, making a closed campus the safer option. But, the issue of security aside, it’s also the more logical option.
At Gull Lake High School, we have 30 minutes for lunch. That is 30 minutes to put our books away, walk to the cafeteria, wait in line, eat and then walk to our lockers to get our books for the next class. There is barely time to eat lunch at school, let alone drive off campus, wait in line at a restaurant and then drive back. If the restaurant takes longer than students expect to serve their food, then they have to decide either to not eat lunch or be late for their next class, a lose-lose situation. If all students are allowed to go out for lunch, then younger students will hitch rides with older students. Some parents are against having their children ride with older children they don’t know. The school cannot control whom students ride with, so they would end up with a lot of upset parents on their hands.
This problem could be solved by only letting students leave who have parental consent, but with the limited time for lunch, the long process of checking every car leaving the parking lot would render the idea of open campus pointless, because the cars last in line would be out of luck when it comes to lunch.
Most students would probably be excited about an open campus but as a broke high school student, the last thing I need is to spend more money on lunches from restaurants that are more expensive than a normal school lunch.
Students have been eating sub-par, unidentifiable cafeteria food for years. Why change that now?