Seniors should be allowed off campus for lunch

Gihan Rachid

Cartoon by Sheena Gonzalez


By the time senior year rolls around, everyone craves freedom. But when you see students at other schools going off campus for lunch and you’re not, you wonder why.

Daniel Pearl Magnet High School isn’t your typical high school. But what many students wonder is why they’re being restricted from leaving campus for lunch. For many years, countless high schools allowed eligible seniors off campus for their lunch break. Many teens look forward to senior just for that reason. But at DPMHS that’s different.

There are countless reasons why students aren’t allowed off campus, but the main one is safety. Safety of the students is administration’s main concern. If a student gets hit by a car while walking through the crosswalk during their lunch break, administration is responsible. When students walk through the doors in the morning, they become the administration’s responsibility. With a quarter of students being off campus, DPMHS just doesn’t have enough staff to monitor students on campus and off.

“The biggest issue for me is safety. We just don’t have enough staff to be observing. Once you’re here at school, you become my responsibility,” Principal Deb Smith said.

Even though safety is a big issue I think that we’re all capable of getting our food and coming back to school on time. I highly doubt that with about 100 seniors to monitor that it would be that hard. If a school with 400 kids in each grade can do this without any issues, then I’m pretty sure the administration could find a solution.

Although students use the excuse of other schools being able to leave school during their breaks, countless school have ended the off campus program. According to Smith, DPMHS neighbor Birmingham Charter High School has also been planning to end its off-campus lunch. Another big concern for administration would be student tardiness when returning back to campus. With only 30 minutes of lunch, they fear that students wouldn’t have enough time to walk or drive to the location of choice, order their food, eat it and walk back to school without being late to class.

“By the time you get out the door, it’s not likely you’ll be able to do that in a 30 minute time period,” Smith said.

Next year with the new class schedule being back to six periods, I think we can take about five or four minutes from each class and add that to lunch time so lunch could be longer and tardiness wouldn’t be an issue. Overall, I think if the administration was really for it, they’d find some sort of solution to allow eligible seniors an off-campus lunch pass.