When a high school has an open campus lunch policy, it basically allows students to leave the school during lunchtime as well as any other free periods they may have. This used to be widespread in the past decades although it has become less common in the recent years, with more and more schools deciding to keep their students inside the premises until the school day ends.
Many people think that having an open campus lunch can be beneficial for students, but there are also those who think that it only invites trouble. To know which side of the story you should be on, it’s important to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of an open campus lunch.
List of Pros of Open Campus Lunch
1. It helps teens develop into mature adults.
Having an open campus lunch encourages teens to be responsible with how they spend their time; if they’re wise, they can use this opportunity to make independent research projects, visit nearby museums and art galleries, and do other productive things. It also helps them develop their decision-making skills and learn how to make choices that will improve their lives. Of course, since it pushes them to interact with people other than their teachers and classmates, it can assist them in enhancing their communication and social skills.
2. It helps the local economy.
An open campus lunch encourages students to eat at nearby cafes, bistros, restaurants, and other kinds of dining establishments. This, in turn, helps these businesses boost their revenues and sales and keeps the local economy strong and vibrant.
3. It allows teens to enjoy a varied diet.
First lady Michelle Obama has championed proper nutrition for students, but it has to be said that only a few schools offer meals that aren’t only nutrient-dense but are also delicious. As a result, many teens refuse to eat the foods that are served in their cafeteria because they don’t like how these taste. By allowing students to leave campus during lunch, they can eat food that they actually like and won’t have to attend classes with empty stomachs.
List of Cons of Open Campus Lunch
1. It exposes teens to the temptation to do wrong.
While an open campus lunch can teach responsibility, it’s important to note that not all teenagers can responsibly handle the freedom that’s given to them. Many skip classes because it’s too easy not to go back to school once they’re outside. Others get tempted by their peers to use drugs, trespass, break into homes or establishments, or just loiter around.
2. It makes parents worry about their kids’ safety.
When schools are closed for lunch, parents have peace of mind knowing that their children are right where they want them to be. However, this isn’t the case when schools have an open campus lunch. Since the students can freely wander around, their parents don’t know exactly where their children are during their lunch and free periods. This can cause them to spend their time worrying about their kids instead of focusing on their work.
3. It increases the chances of teens getting into accidents.
When students head off outside the campus, there’s always the chance that they’ll get involved in an unfortunate event. One of the most common accidents that can happen to them is getting hit by a vehicle when they cross the streets. If they take their car from school to find a place to eat, they can collide with other cars or hit pedestrians.
Having an open campus lunch can bring several advantages as well as disadvantages. It’s up to teens, parents, teachers, and school administrators to weigh the pros and cons and decide if this type of program is ideal for students or not.