EDITORIAL: Off Campus Lunch Should be a Limited Option

Disclaimer: This story was written by a guest writer as part of an English 4 and Talon partnership.

Most schools in North Texas do not approve of open campus lunches, but why is this? An excuse would be that teenagers are irresponsible, reckless, and not mature enough to handle that kind of freedom; therefore, they become a liability to the school. Now, I know that we teenagers aren’t always the sharpest crayons in the box, but, come on, there aren’t that many choices on the McDonald’s value meal menu.

In countries around the world, open campus is widely accepted. For example, French students have a two-hour lunch break from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. During their two-hour lunch break, they can eat at home or at a restaurant. Students in the Philippines have a tougher schedule, but are still provided with two 15 minute breaks and an hour for lunch.

There are several positive aspects about open campus, including simple conveniences such as being able to eat a variety of meals during lunchtime, rather than the predictable cafeteria cuisine, as well as having the opportunity to take a break at home. Depending on how close the school is to restaurants and students’ homes, open campus could be a great idea.

As far as a healthy diet, what we eat during off-campus lunch can’t be any worse than when we have the surprise meal on the school menu that looks like a combination of all the leftovers from the last week’s lunches, smothered with melted cheese on top. So maybe we need to prove that we can handle deciding where and what we want to eat at lunch without being late to class and/or being reckless when leaving from and returning to school. Give us a chance, please?

Make off-campus lunch possible for upperclassmen. With more than two years of high school under our belts, braces freshly off and more than 50 hours experience behind the wheel, we should be eligible. Make off-campus lunch an incentive for underclassmen to achieve as upperclassmen.

We want freedom, so we will work for it. Set a grade-point average requirement, a no-tolerance truancy policy, only having off-campus lunch on certain days, or anything within reason. Or better yet, even offer off-campus lunch to those with adult status. Whatever the reasons may be that we are not allowed the freedom of choosing where and what we want to eat, let us prove to you that teenagers can be responsible, cautious and, more importantly, mature adults.

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