Lunchtime restrictions too restrictive?

    The signs reading “no entry during lunch” glare at students who pass by the school buildings during lunch every day.

    It is controversial whether or not blocking off access to the buildings is a good thing to do.

    “We think it is a good thing,” assistant principal John Paul Ballou said.

    Throughout my years at MV, I have noticed a shift in the increase of restrictions during lunch around the campus. This change has not necessarily been the most beneficial for all, especially for those who want to just enjoy a comfortable lunch period. Many students dislike not being able to sit wherever they want.

   “It is annoying because you can’t get to your locker or see teachers if you need to,” junior Hannah Wendlandt said.

    The rule can potentially prevent students from seeing their teachers for help during lunch, causing an inconvenience both for students who need help to do well in school as well as teachers who are expecting their students to arrive.

    “We recommend that students get a pass [from their teachers] before going for lunch help,” assistant principal Gary Peterson said.

    However, getting a pass before going to lunch help can be a hassle. Some students do not realize that they need help until after class, which does not allow them to have a chance to get a pass before help during lunch. Other students do not have the class they need help for until after lunch, making that an inconvenience as well.

    Students are even restricted from using certain bathrooms. Instead of being allowed to use the restrooms closest to their lunchtime spots, students are required to go to “designated” bathrooms around campus. This can cause students to be tardy to class after lunch.

    “Students should be given privileges,” junior Arielle Herman said. “What exactly do they think we would do to the buildings during lunch?”

    As summer is now over and fall is upon us, the weather is becoming colder and it is less bearable to be outdoors during lunch. Not allowing students to take refuge under sheltered parts of buildings nor inside of the buildings makes keeping dry during the rainy months a difficult task. Even with the “open gym” available on rainy days, there is not enough space for all students to stay dry and prevent themselves from getting sick.

    “It deprives the human basic need of shelter during bad weather,” junior Seerat Sekhon said.

    If students are given the opportunity to spend their lunchtime in the buildings, there would be fewer complaints and happier students.

    When asked how they would feel if the buildings were available to student access during lunch, MV students saw the change as a beneficial one.

    “I don’t see why we can’t,” junior Carrie Ng said.

    “We will have a place to go in terms of shelter,” Sekhon said.

     However, there are also some problems with fewer student restrictions.

    “Some students will abuse these privileges,” Sekhon said.

    With all of the controversy over the school’s liability, blocking off access to certain places during lunch may be the only practical solution to ensure student safety.

    “It comes down to supervision and enough staff to supervise the buildings,” Ballou said.

    Students should take responsibility for their actions as well as those of their fellow classmates. Instead of leaving trash lying on the ground, they should clean up any trash that they see lying around, regardless if it is their own. As a responsible student, I always pick up my trash after lunch, helping keep the school that much cleaner.

    If we start to care more about our school’s environment, we will earn the respect of parents, teachers, administrators, and our peers and will be given more privileges.

    “Most students are trustworthy,” Ballou said. “We may open up more spaces on a trial basis to see if students can prove their responsibility.”