Open Campus Lunch- Wyoming Wants Some Freedom


Miles Roy

Tyler Bos decides to forgo half of his lunch in favor of playing Among Us instead.

Students are sick of food that is “lackin’,” according to opinions, I’ve been made aware of.
A multitude of students at Wyoming High School have complained to me about the cheap and average at best lunch options we are provided. I’ve heard it every year for 3 years even despite the school’s changes to some of the lines. The High School gives students a choice between 4 lines, some of which have even more than one choice. And yet the school still fails to account for everyone’s taste. I personally know many students that still go without any school food, and many have told me that they’d rather the lunch budget go to something else while students could instead leave campus to get food from the many restaurants in the area.
I interviewed two students with a variety of questions to try to determine the consequences and benefits of allowing for open campus lunch. One consequence many foresee is that students could easily leave school and not come back. Brady Flint’s opinion on this was that “there would be some who would abuse that privilege,” but on the other hand “you could just punish students for that, and by then they’ll just learn to be better about it.” So it comes down to the school’s ability to implement a fair punishment.
Brady offered a great idea to punish people who take advantage of open campus. He said they should add another attendance-type machine that gives passes to leave and return at lunch. From there, “if [people] are completely gone for the rest of the day after [they] go to lunch, you can’t do it no more,” and “if you’re tardy for three times, then you can’t do it no more.” Wandering too far would also cause a lot more tardies, so I asked Brady how he felt the school could counter unwarranted tardies. He offered an idea to make a “list like restaurants that you can go to that way people get here and on time.” Obviously, students could easily leave the radius recommended, but the tardies would then be warranted.
To clarify whether the issue Brady had was the quality of food or the eagerness for freedom, I asked him if he could compromise with parking lot food trucks instead of open campus lunch. He responded that “[the idea] actually sounds really good, I’d take either/or,” which clarified that students’ real issue was the food quality itself.
One of the biggest issues of open campus lunch for the school is compromising the safety of students during school hours due to traffic in the area. So I asked Brady if he thought high schoolers are responsible enough to not get into accidents, and “[he did] think that,” but “just don’t be stupid.”
My second interviewee was Tyler Bos, who also had an opinion on students being able to leave and not come back. He figured “not all of them” would come back because “people are wacky in here” (the High School). Tyler seemed to be the opposite of Brady, thinking that most people wanted to leave for freedom mostly rather than better food. I asked him if he had any way he would personally punish that kind of behavior to prevent it from constantly occuring, and he said, “Same thing it is for like everything else.” He further elaborated that he was referring to suspension and detention.
I asked Tyler another one of the schools foreseen problems with open campus, that of which being the excessive amounts of wasted food. His solution to the problem was what I like to call a little philanthropy, to “give it away for free.” Obviously, this solution would be beneficial to the part of the Wyoming community that struggles to always have food, but the cost of doing such a thing is probably beyond the school’s budget. At least for now after such expensive modifications to the school buildings.
The ability to implement open campus lunch, unfortunately, goes to the school, but maybe that’s a good thing with how much costs and consequences it could cause for everyone. Even so, the school needs to check in with students for feedback on what to provide at lunch. Something as simple as a food truck once a week maybe would connect so easily with the students. If Wyoming High School doesn’t get our feedback, then a rising number of students will go without lunch and nutrients. Not even to mention from what I hear, an even greater amount of students refusing to eat breakfast.