Coping without an Open Campus

The idea of being able to get out of school and eat with your friends during lunch may seem very engaging to students but unfortunately for the students of WCTA, they won’t be able to enjoy that sense of freedom and responsibility of an open campus rule.

Since WCTA was opened, they had chosen to not have an open campus for the safety of students, but WCTA is different from many high schools. WCTA has the advantage of being a CTSO where only students accepted for their program attend, so the students of WCTA should be a little more street smart than those who go to a regular high school, Right? Ms. Byrne, assistant principal at WCTA has an opposing viewpoint on whether WCTA should have an open campus.

When questioned about who she believes not having an open campus affects, Byrne said that she doesn’t believe that it affected anyone. “We have many healthy options, and students also have the option of packing their own lunch”.

The rule of not having an open campus affects both the staff, teachers, and students equally because they all should have the option of being able to go out responsibly during lunch to get food of their choice.

“Attendance would be greatly affected”, replied Byrne when questioned on what she believed would have been affected by incorporating an open campus policy. Byrne also said that it could affect stores in the area, and increase in crime due to many students being at one place at the same time.

Elaborating off of what Byrne said, the policy on tardiness would be the things that would be affected the most, because the student need to be responsible enough to get back to school on time.

When Byrne was questioned on when she believed the open campus would be the most beneficial, Byrne said that she believed that it would be helpful to those students who wanted more options, such as students who are ethnically diverse and want food the school does not provide.

Working with what Byrne expressed, the open campus could be very useful for teachers at WCTA, because they can go and get things they might need for their lesson plans.

“We would have no control over where the students go off to during lunch. We cannot monitor them, so we can’t really set borders for the students”, replied Byrne when she was asked whether or not there are would be any borders for where the students could go.

Disagreeing with what Byrne said, the borders should be at least a 5 mile radius around the school, so that the students don’t have to worry about being late to school, and have staff placed at the borders as patrol over the students to ensure they do not leave campus.

When Byrne was questioned on why she believed we didn’t have an open campus if our students had a tendency of being more responsible than students at a regular public school, she said “CCSD does not allow it, even if we wanted to have it. It’s better this way… we can ensure the safety of our students and make sure that their attendance and grades stay the way they are supposed to be”.

Expanding on what Byrne said previously, the privilege of having an open campus is taken away from students because although they are responsible, they are also teenagers, and are still likely to be irresponsible even though they are thought of being smarter than most teens.

When Byrne was questioned about how she believed an open campus would affect the grades, she replied by saying that it would affect them negatively. She then said, “Students will ditch classes because they have the opportunity and they will miss out on everything they need to be successful”.

Adding onto what Byrne said, having an open campus could possibly have a negative effect on students, because they might not be able to get to class on time and will miss out on some of the material they need to pass, and it could ultimately affect the graduation rate of WCTA.

The real question here is whether or not the administration would ever actually take into consideration this idea, and put the lives of the students at WCTA at risk.


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