Should Students Be Allowed To Eat In Their Cars?

Should Students Be Allowed To Eat In Their Cars?

Janette Fu, Editor

Principal Jason Kurtenbach sent a weekly parent/student email reading: “All students, including seniors with off-campus passes, are prohibited from eating lunch in the parking lot or in their cars in the parking lot. Any student found in these areas during lunch will forfeit their Senior off-campus pass and Juniors, Sophomores, and Freshmen found there will forfeit their opportunity for a senior off-campus pass for the first semester of their senior year among other possible consequences.” However, is eating lunch in your car in the parking lot that bad?

“If students are on campus they need to be in an area that can be monitored by our staff. Students in their cars cannot be monitored. Furthermore, some students use this as an opportunity to make poor decisions such as vaping and using cannabis. Therefore, if seniors wish to have an off-campus pass they must use it to be off-campus. If they are on campus, which is anywhere including our driveways and parking lots, they must be in an approved area of the campus that is monitored by our staff,” Mr. Kurtenbach said. 

While I understand the need for staff to supervise approved areas of campus, banning eating lunch in the cars in the parking lot will not prevent the niche population of students to stop smoking. However, that doesn’t mean the school can’t trust its seniors. These students are close to being legal adults, which is why I believe they know better than to smoke and utilize an opportunity to eat lunch in their cars for something negative. High school is meant to prepare its students to become grown-ups, which is why our students should be expected to be responsible, especially during school hours. 

Moreover, eating in cars allows a safe environment considering the covid cases that are being discovered almost weekly. Many classrooms don’t allow students to eat inside, and some are just uncomfortable sitting on a dirty or grassy ground. While the cafeteria is open, it’s still an enclosed space with 10-30 people, which can be dangerous if students don’t know each other’s vaccination status. Allowing seniors to eat by themselves in their own cars provides a safe, clean, and socially-distanced space that is comfortable to all. “There isn’t any harm in students eating in their own cars,” Rachael Wen, 12, said.

It’s appropriate to ban students from smoking at school, but I think that if the lunch policy is in place to solely stop such actions, the school should reconsider allowing students to eat in their cars in the parking lots, especially if it can mitigate the rapid spread of COVID-19.