—by Julia Bannon & Gabriel Yoder-Shenk—
Going out to lunch is among the most anticipated privileges of senior year. And according to North’s vice principal Doug Eadie, many juniors sneak out of school for lunch. “It’s something that occurs every year,” he said. “Kids sneak out.”
And he’s right—they do.
In 2002, after the student councils of both North and South presented petitions to the school board, open campus lunch for seniors was established. However, plenty of students feel that the policy is too limiting—that the year of students’ graduating classes shouldn’t determine whether they’re allowed to leave the building during lunch. “I think that if you can drive then you should be able to leave for lunch” said one senior, who often takes juniors out with him to eat.
Sneaking out at lunch is common. It’s something that’s been happening since the policy was first instituted. Another student recalled, “As a sophomore and a junior, I heard about a lot of underclassmen who got away with it.”
Prohibiting underclassmen from going out to lunch has led to rebellion and a lot of desperate kids pining for Subway and Baskin Robbins. Many students have gone so far as to hide in their friends’ trunks to be smuggled out of the parking lot. A student who tried to sneak out his friend—a senior who had forgotten his ID—was taken to the main office after one of the security cameras caught the friend climbing into his trunk. “I thought to myself, ‘I know this is pushing the rules, but he’ll only be in the trunk for, like, thirty seconds.’ I was going very, very slow. I told him, ‘if you have any sort of problems, just knock.’”
Plenty of students don’t see the point. “It’s dumb,” senior Teja Madala said. “Mr. Moon is going to sack you, regardless.” Al Moon, one of the school’s security guards, stands by the stop sign in front of the senior parking lot and checks students’ cars before they leave. There are also cameras in the parking lot that allow the administrators to see what’s going on, so when they see someone stepping into a trunk, they can intervene. “You can get suspended. Risk over reward,” Madala said.
It is inevitable that students will challenge rules, and the administration has a good grasp on the issue. “Does it occur? Absolutely. Do we get everyone? No,” Eadie said.