Should FHC provide the option of off-campus lunch to students?

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Should FHC provide the option of off-campus lunch to students?

When I get onto Snapchat after the school day concludes, I often discover pictures of delicious meals from restaurants displayed on the stories of primarily students at East Grand Rapids High School. Whether they’re enjoying delectable drinks at the nearby Starbucks or indulging in Italian cuisine at Rose’s, I cannot help but envy the freedom they’re granted during their lunch hour. 

For students at FHC, the absolute luxury of an off-campus lunch is unattainable. With only a half-an-hour lunch, there simply is not enough time and not enough nearby restaurants to make off-campus lunch a reality. So, students at FHC are faced with the challenge of altering the contents of their lunches while not obtaining the opportunity to purchase food from a restaurant. Fortunately, the lunchroom does provide numerous, different options each day; but, sometimes the same old does simply get old. 

So, should FHC provide the option of off-campus lunch to students? 

An article posted on the website ConnectUsfund lists the positives of off-campus lunch: it teaches students time management skills, provides a mental break from the stresses of a typical high school day, supports local businesses, allows students to learn life lessons, and offers students the opportunity to prove to adults and administration that they can be trusted. The article argues that the benefits of personal freedom and developing proper time management skills are much more fatal to high school students than constant oversight. 

An article included on the website GrownandFlown supports the cons of off-campus lunch by including shocking research. Researchers at the University of North Carolina concluded that crash rates were drastically higher for teenagers in counties that allowed off-campus lunch—despite the counties maintaining no heightened crash risk during other time periods. The researchers further stated that off-campus lunch encourages situations where there are multiple teenagers within one vehicle which is a known risk factor for teenage car crashes. 

At EGR, students either have lunch from 10:56 am to 11:53 am or from 11:58 am to 12:55 pm. Both lunch periods are an entire fifty-seven minutes; therefore, students are undoubtedly provided a sufficient amount of time to head over to a nearby restaurant or to their house to grab a quick bite. I am unashamedly desirous to acquire the same opportunity that the fortunate students of EGR are granted every day

But, in order for off-campus lunch to be a possibility, the entire schedule at FHC would have to be adjusted: classes would require shortening, the system of lunches would require modification, and the school day would assumably require to be commenced at 7:40 again instead of 7:45. 

Researchers at the University of North Carolina concluded that crash rates were drastically higher for teenagers in counties that allowed off-campus lunch—despite the counties maintaining no heightened crash risk during other time periods.”

The same article on ConnectUsfund states that a number of students would definitely benefit from off-campus lunch; however, it argues that it could also be detrimental to others. The article calls for each district, along with each set of school administrators, to decide what they believe is the absolute best for their students. The article also suggests that restrictions be involved with off-campus lunch policies that allow the most mature teens to enjoy the privilege—such as enacting a certain GPA to qualify.

Although I am aware that granting FHC students off-campus lunch would call for arduous, meticulous work for the district, I believe that it is a valid candidate for at least being looked into. I know students who absolutely adore their off-campus lunch and who also take the responsibility and privilege seriously and respectfully. I know that students at FHC would be able to handle the responsibility, and I would be curious to see the effects of the new freedom and brain break on student morale.

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