Underclassmen have been sneaking off campus for years, all to enjoy a sense of freedom and rebellion, because, let’s face it – being stuck on campus during lunch can get boring. But, only upperclassmen should be allowed off campus at lunch.
Similar to how everyone must go through being a freshman when entering high school, the privilege of leaving campus at lunch should be reserved for juniors and seniors, something special for them to look forward to by making it through two years of high school.
Also, eating lunch at school provides students with the chance to socialize and meet their fellow classmates. Particularly in their first two years of high school, students are trying to figure out which group they want to be a part of and make friends.
If underclassmen were allowed off campus, they could easily avoid facing the social aspects of high school and could simply cruise through high school without ever wanting to participate in social events, such as dances or football games, because they wouldn’t have friends to hang out with during these events.
By junior year, it should be up to students to decide what they want to do with their lunch time. By then, they most likely have a core friend group that they can go off campus with, but going somewhere without being confined to the school grounds supplies a sense of independence and changes things up from the typical lunch day.
In college or after high school, students will have the ability and freedom to decide to go anywhere they want during lunch. Reserving the privilege to leave campus for just upperclassmen allows students to experience this concept before they begin their post high school career.
Most freshmen and sophomores also are not yet responsible enough to time-manage or handle the responsibility of leaving campus. For example, the majority might leave campus and lose track of time or would not return to school, fulfilled with the thrill of independence. This then holds the school responsible for the student who left school without notice.
All underclassmen are required to have at least six classes in order to fulfill their high school graduation requirements. Since this is the case, all underclassmen have a class after lunch, so even if they were allowed to leave campus at lunch, they would have to return to school once lunch was over. The majority of upperclassmen have 5 to 6 classes, so many upperclassmen have their last class before lunch. This makes it unreasonable to make upperclassmen stay on campus during lunch, while underclassmen have another class after lunch anyway.
Also, underclassmen, excluding a small number of sophomores, cannot drive. This makes leaving campus pointless for underclassmen, since their options for places to go become limited by how far they can walk in forty minutes.
Looking at all the reasoning, for faculty to open up the off-campus lunch life to everyone would really only be opening a large door for problems. Underclassmen should enjoy the time they have at school, meeting people and eating their lunch, knowing that one day they will be get to enjoy the privilege of going off campus.