The Off Campus Lunch Policy and Why It Is Here

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The policy on off campus lunch at George Washington has been a controversial topic as long as it has existed. Should Freshman be able to go off campus? Should they be able to go with siblings or someone who can drive? These topics and questions have all been debated numerous times, and yet some things are still unknown. This is the provocative story of the off campus lunch policy at George Washington High School.

To begin, some people may be unclear on the exact off campus lunch policy and what it consists of. As it stands, it is closed campus for freshman and sophomores, and open campus for juniors and seniors. It wasn’t always like this, however, as according to Mr. Geisel, one of George’s assistant principals, things used to be quite different and led to a change in policy, “… about four years ago after engaging with community stakeholders, what used to happen is that when we had open campus for all, your talking about one lunch period, at the time 1300 kids basically all leaving campus at one time, and the impact that had on the community was quite negative.” With the entire school being eligible to go off campus at once, safety, attendance, and overwhelming restaurants were all an issue. Mr. Geisel continued to talk about the specific reasons why the policy was changed, “…crossing the street appropriately, causing problems in businesses… we saw correlation between off campus lunch and 5th period attendance … and so our response was to close the campus…” By enforcing these changes, it ensured the attendance numbers to increase for freshman and sophomores, while juniors and seniors attendance hasn’t been a problem.

However, some students feel like off campus lunch should be allowed for all grades, even if they do not obtain a driver’s license (like most freshman), as some kids have siblings to drive them and they feel they are responsible enough to be on time to 5th period. According to Mr. Geisel, if a freshman or sophomore does attempt to sneak off campus, consequences can consist of a conversation at first, although if a student is caught off a second time, on campus privileges will be lost and a lunch detention will be put in place. He also went on to say that the off campus lunch policy does work for both the school and the community, and while students may be able to alter the policy in the future, as of right now it is here to stay, “…any change in policy I would hope would come from the students seeking the right avenue and advocating for what a solution might be, but as of now certainly administration is not looking to change the policy.”

The off campus lunch policy will forever be controversial, but with all things taken into account, administration will not be seeking to change this policy in the near future and for the time being it seems freshman and sophomores will just have to wait, unless a strong avocation is presented. This is where the off campus lunch policy currently stands at George Washington High School.

 

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