Open campus needs to make a return


In a school whose campus is literally open, the irony of our closed campus policy is almost too much to bear. Students who make quick trips to establishments like McDonald’s, Dairy Queen or Wendy’s, which are just five minutes from campus, should not return with the fear of being punished. Our open campus should be made open to the fullest extent of its definition.

Inglemoor was not always so restricted; in years past, students could leave campus during lunch hours consequence-free. Such a radical transition from freedom to confinement leaves the student body feeling trapped.

A standard punishment for breaching campus boundaries is inconsistent with the crime of leaving: a Saturday School for leaving campus for 10 minutes does not reflect the severity of doing so. In many cases, unsensible reaction to students’ activities merely encourages the behavior; the act of leaving becomes a measure of your ability to avoid being caught by the school authorities on the way back to campus.

Off-campus lunch excursions offer students a much-needed break from school. Open access to the real world is crucial to students’ development — and more importantly, who doesn’t love a midday McChicken?

The issue of keeping kids on campus throughout the day is, of course, one of liability. If something should happen to a student outside of school grounds during the school day, the administration is held legally responsible. That concern is a valid one, but at the same time it poses the risk of punishing students for the wrong reasons.

High school students live life by the shriek of a bell, micromanaged by their administration. Whether in pursuit of the safety of students or to avoid a lawsuit, that administration dictates what happens to students in a way that they will not experience in the real world.

The future holds so much freedom for high school students right now. College will see a release from external responsibility and influence; there will no longer be an administration to shepherd kids into following strict parameters. Students know how to read a watch and they know how to meet deadlines. Those skills have been drilled into them throughout their academic careers.

The real world will not hold your hand, and in doing so here, in high school, students lose the chance to demonstrate that they are indeed on their way to adulthood. An open campus allows students to prove that they are responsible and that they can abide by the expectations of mature adults. Let high school students test the waters of their near-at-hand adult lives.