Students look forward to getting to high school because many more privileges come their way as they get older. One of the most revered privileges is being able to leave campus during lunch. Although this is only approximately 30 minutes out of the school day when students are unattended, much can happen and much can be prevented if we as adults help to watch and patrol the parks and highways.
Students grades PK-8 do not have access to an open lunch. What this means is they cannot leave campus without signing out by a parent. Lunch is provided to these students in one of the two cafeterias.
For students in grades 9 – 12, lunch is available at the high school cafeteria, but many students elect to leave campus to either go home or eat at one of the local restaurants. Open campus helps to support our local businesses and we are proud of this opportunity for both the businesses and the students. However, when students do not take advantage of this opportunity to eat at one of the restaurants or at school, we become alarmed. For the 30 or so minutes that students are not in the care of the school many things can happen. As school officials we are often informed that students are participating in activities that put them at risk. Throughout this school year we have patrolled off campus locations such as Mill Pond Park and Risen Park in the effort to keep our students from being tempted to participate in at-risk activities. Lunch time patrol by local law enforcement is evident as well. However, we as school officials can not be at all locations and law enforcement can not as well. We ask for your help as parents and guardians to know where your student is going during lunch. What can local citizens do to help? Just be aware of what is going on before school, during lunch and after school. What should you expect to see during the lunch hour? Students in grades 9-12 are permitted to leave campus to eat lunch or run errands. Students only of legal driving age are permitted to drive vehicles and park on school grounds, but students not of driving age are permitted to leave campus with a legal student driver as dictated by their parents. Many underclassmen take advantage of nearby eating establishments that are within walking distance of the school – this is great. However, many students do drive at lunch time. However, when students are parking in one of the local parks, going to neighboring towns or driving the country side, we should be cautious. The most important thing to know is where your child is going before school, during lunch time and after school. Awareness is the most important tool we have in keeping our students safe.
If you have any questions about this article or any other question about school happenings please contact me at 325/372-3144. Don’t forget to check the website regularly for new updates – www.san-saba.net