Open Lunch Should Be a Possibility

If you look around at all of the restaurants around school, you’ll see a Mr. Goodcents, an Arby’s, a McDonald’s, and even a Pizza Shoppe. Just thinking about these tasty restaurants may be enough to make your mouth water, but there are imaginary bars on their doors that are locking students out; West is the only school in the district that prohibits open lunch. But for what reasons? After all, it’s just food.

All of the other schools in the district allow students to leave school during lunch period to get food. If we were to introduce this at West, it would further increase the amount of lunch choices that students get, as sometimes the regular cafeteria choices aren’t enough. It would also get them introduced to the “real world,” because employed workers often go out for lunch multiple times a week. But the problem with this is three little things a) the minimal amount of time to drive to a restaurant and back b) the health of students and c) safety of the students.

If open lunch were to be a possibility, 30 minutes may not be enough time for students to drive all the way to, for example, Arby’s, which is located on 87th Street and Grant, and then get back to their class and not be tardy. Let’s say it takes five minutes to walk to your car, five minutes to drive to a restaurant, 15 minutes to order and eat, five minutes to drive back, and five minutes to make it back to class, That’s already 35 minutes, and we barely even scrape half an hour as it is, and 15 minutes isn’t a LOT of time to eat. Students who don’t have seminar and have 3rd lunch already get the opportunity to go out for lunch as they please, and it leaves other students feeling left out. Not to mention that I have friends at Northwest and North that already get to have open lunch anyway.

Another concern is obviously health. Fast food, especially from greasy restaurants like McDonald’s, contains tons of calories, which is considered unhealthy. Also, school food services and cafeteria workers may lose money. That wouldn’t mean that the cafeteria would be empty every day though. Other schools only allow seniors to leave early. The biggest positive out of this would be the fact that the lunch room would have shorter lines and there would be much more room. It’s just the fact that school lunches are trying to become healthier and fast food getting greasier, but at the same time, we already have CiCi’s pizza and Schlotzky’s sandwiches available on the bridge.

But safety is probably the biggest concern. Safety is more important than making it to a class on time. Safety sometimes is the difference between life and death, as car accidents take the life of more teens a year than any other accident, let alone any other cause of death. With numerous pile-ups and fender-benders that have been either caused by or involved with West students this year, open lunch, which occurs during a busy time of day, could make students susceptible to getting in accidents.

Open lunch would give students more freedom, but at the same time, there are a lot of issues and concerns that come with it. There are obvious reasons why we don’t have open lunch now, but because of the fact that other schools in the district have it, we should have it. After all, we already had to change our entire class schedule to match the rest of the schools, so why not have open lunch also? Even if we weren’t to have it every day, why not just a few days a week, or maybe even just on Fridays? Hopefully students will address their concerns about open lunch in the near future, and hopefully administrators will listen.