Safety-driven lunch changes confine students


photo by Katarina Harrison

Students eat at the tables outside of the cafeteria, the only outside area where students are allowed to eat this year.

With the new year came new policies, including a controversial regulation on where students are allowed to eat lunch. In the past, students were allowed to find any place on campus to enjoy their 30 minute lunch break, but they are now confined to the cafeteria and the tables directly outside.

According to Principal Mary Williams, the new policy was put into place mainly for safety issues. During lunch, security and administration wander the grounds in order to ensure the safety of students. By concentrating the students into one area, there is less ground to cover, allowing students to be more thoroughly supervised.

“Our courtyard is enormous, and there aren’t enough administration when the students are spread out everywhere,” Williams said. “Containing the students to the designated eating areas helps immensely with this.”

Limiting the areas where students eat was also intended to help keep the school clean. Over the summer, the school was thoroughly cleaned, and by limiting the area where students may leave trash from lunch, it can easily be maintained in it’s current state.

Regardless of the reasons behind it, many students are unhappy with the new regulation. Eating outside of the media center and in the amphitheater outside buildings two and three was common in the past, and forcing students to eat all in one area has been faced with many complaints from students.

“It definitely makes the lunch tables a lot more crowded, and it’s annoying to find a spot where you can sit,” junior Matthew Brown said. “Whereas if you can sit anywhere, you can group with your friends, and it’s easier to find each other.”

Other students complain that the new rule keeps them away from their lockers, or from getting help from teachers during lunch. Students are only allowed into the buildings if they have a pass from a teacher.