Several students dream of the freedom to simply walk out of school, get in the car with their friends and spend a much needed free lunch period in the midst of a stressful day at one of their favorite places to eat. But, here at Memorial High school, this luxury is often the subject of debate and questioned before students can all go zip off to a McDonald’s near them.
The staff and administrators of Memorial High school, in Frisco, Texas strictly believe that students should not be given an off-campus lunch period. This takes place for a plethora of palpable reasons concerning mainly attendance and safety.
Memorial dissents with the implementation of such a policy because there is an immense risk of the students failing to return to school after being allowed to leave the premises.
English Teacher Darcy Stephens in a North Carolina Highschool with off-campus lunch recalls a personal experience regarding failure to return to class in an interview with the Public Health advocacy institute. “My third periods some days would always have twice the amount of students walking in late than other classes” Stephens proclaimed. “ Other times, at least twice a week there were always about 2 or 3 students that were never there in my class but magically were magically present towards the end of the day.”
Another substantial reason for Memorials’ opposition to the extremely lenient policy is compromising school safety and putting standard rules to maintain order in jeopardy.
According to a research paper by the public health advocacy institute, Off the Map: Extracurricular School Food- Open Campus Lunch, By Marlo R. Muira, “we often report incidents like fighting, fatal car accidents, mugging, substance abuse, and arrest, and sexual assault as occurring off-campus during lunch periods.” These events are a serious restriction in terms of morales and in a serious restriction of basic safety and order is strived to be maintained.
Students will often bring in the argument of receiving a “break from boring school” or using off-campus lunch as a moment for the ever so necessary self-care. Neither of these reasons are necessarily incorrect, but there are other factors that trump them. In the end, the aspects of safety and proper moral foundation that are often lacked with off-campus lunch as mentioned above is the most important of all to maintain in a school setting.
Off-campus lunch policy should continue to be restricted at Memorial because of the potential risks it poses to the student body. Nevertheless, Memorial will continue to sustain these ideals as it continues its path into the future.