Gate must be locked for closed campus (pro/con)
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Con: Close campus constricts kids, by: Mikayla Jennings
It’s what students think about all day. That giant, delicious, greasy burger is what their stomachs have been craving. They climb into their cars and are about to pull out of the parking lot when a golf cart blocks their path and a security guard tells them to go back. Dreams of fast food have been crushed by the district policy requiring campuses to be closed for lunch.
The district policy that closes campuses during lunch treats students more like prisoners than the independent young adults schools are claiming to be producing. What ever happened to the goal to prepare students for life in the real world? Once you arrive on the school campus, you are practically locked in. Administration at Emerald Ridge lock the two west gates in the parking lot. They only leave one gate open for the sake of oncoming traffic, however it would probably be locked as well if students, parents and volunteers were not constantly coming and going. Students come to high school thinking they will have more freedom than in junior high schools only to find that there is not much of a change aside from the fact that they no longer have to raise their hands to go to the bathroom.
Why do students even want to leave campus? Aren’t there enough food options here at Emerald Ridge? The answer is simple. Food off campus is not only cheaper, but it tastes better too. The school lunches at ER cost approximately $3.60. For that price plus a few extra cents, a student could get 60 chicken nuggets at Burger King, or three junior cheeseburgers or two chicken Caesar wraps or three small Frostys at Wendy’s, or two cheeseburgers or a Big Mac or a McChicken meal or a triple cheeseburger meal or two large fries or any two wraps at McDonald’s. Any of those options sound way more appetizing than mediocre salads, chicken with weird goopy stuff on the inside or cardboard pizza. Many students could even drive home for lunch to have appetizing food cooked in their own kitchen.
Those opposed to the idea of an open campus argue that students could choose to leave school and just not come back. Students could technically leave school whenever they want to simply by running to their cars and driving away. It happens every day. The students who actually value their education would choose to return. Most likely, the students who would “ditch” school would be the ones who do not value their education, students who disrupt the learning environment of those who do and students who cause frequent trouble. While every student has a right to an education, it is the choice of the student whether or not to exercise that right. If a student truly does not want to be at school, forcing them to stay will not make them any more willing to learn. Having an open campus at lunch would better the learning environment at school, although it sounds negative, by “weeding out” those students who hinder the learning of others.
It is a fact that one of the main reasons for implementing the closed campus policy is because the school district is liable for every student during all school hours. A solution to this would be to allow parents to sign a waiver allowing their child[ren] to leave campus at lunch, and to impose a merit system that would take the privileges away from students who abuse them.
High school is supposed to teach students responsibility and how to be functional human beings in life after high school. The first step in teaching that responsibility is to give students the opportunity to prove that responsibility. Emerald Ridge should have an open campus for lunch because it will be cheaper for students, better for the learning environment and will grant extra freedom to high school students.
Pro: safety is priority, by: Lucas Cook
Every day students at Emerald Ridge sneak off of campus during lunch to buy food at the Wendy’s or McDonald’s down the street, but it’s not allowed. Although it might seem unfair, or even prison-like, the closed campus rule is here for a good reason: safety.
Many students want an open campus. The lunchroom is too crowded, the food doesn’t taste as good, they may want to meet up with friends from other schools or run home and grab an assignment they may have forgotten.
Since there is no effective way to keep track of students while they’re gone, there is no way to warn them about an emergency. If a lock-down, fire or a natural disaster took place while a student was away, it isn’t guaranteed a friend would warn them causing the student to be put in danger when they arrive back to the campus. The school has to know where students are at all times to protect them. With people coming in and out all the time, it would be harder to keep track of who belongs here and who doesn’t, making it easier for suspicious people to sneak in.
If Jag students take advantage of an open campus, there will be an increase of trouble. Too many students will find a way to skip the rest of the day, or even be so caught up with friends they may forget to keep track of the time. Fast food restaurants would be crowded, making it easier for fights to start and it would take longer to order and receive their food. Lunch periods at ER are fairly short, which would create a hurrying mentality to get to class on time. With so many students able to drive at ER, this would most likely cause an increase of car accidents with the pressure on students to be on time.
An open campus would also make it easier for students to engage in risky behavior. Students could plan to meet up for a fight so that the school wouldn’t be able to break it up. Students could also find a place to meet up to do drugs and drink alcohol and with the protection of the school this wouldn’t be possible. A closed campus is a safe one.