Second, most students felt that being allowed to exit the campus during lunch would provide them with a more elaborate lunch menu compared with their school’s cafeteria.
But when asked to narrow down their argument to a single point, some students felt that general freedom from school was worth more than being able to eat other types of food.
“Yeah, food is an issue, but at the same it’s also about the freedom,” said club member Adrian Apana, 17. “I mean, just the freedom of being able to go out, doing what you want to do, being in a different environment than you are [in] for seven hours every day.”
For Taniel Akay, 17, being outside the school’s walls would give him the opportunity to go home for a half-hour, he said.
But that could mean a whole set of other headaches for school administrators, Walsh said.
“I worry about things that could happen off campus,” Walsh said. “I’ll always worry about that; that’s the dad in me. On campus, that’s not going to happen because they’re here.”
But the open-campus lunch privilege, Taniel argued, could be extended only to students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Besides, he said, the school’s lack of an open-campus lunch seemed to stem from liability issues.
“It’s not so much that the school is worried about what’s going to happen to their students, it’s about the school worrying about would happen to them if something happens to their students,” Taniel said. “It’s not the school’s fault, and it’s ultimately the individual student’s.”
He recommended a liability waiver that would exempt the school from any legal responsibility should an incident occur. But Walsh said an open-lunch campus would incite tardiness, which the school experienced years ago when it had an open-lunch campus, and even the “good kids” were tardy.