Camera and Editor: David Martinez
It has been a tradition in Hollywood High School to award students who score proficient in the California Standardized Test with lunch passes that allowed them to leave during lunch and buy food from the wide variety of restaurants surrounding the school. It was a great pleasure indeed for students who wanted something different from the usual lunch the school offers and also a fair way to push students to aim for high scores in their CST. To students, it was fair game. Until recently, a sudden decision was made that banned students from leaving campus during lunch that has left the student body outraged.
There was no debate to this decision. Just a sudden word from the principal that the tradition of going out to lunch was no more. The choice was made that prohibited students from leaving was due to “liability issues” that would presumably cause the school problems if any student were to be harmed during lunch period.
The burning question in this issue is whether this decision, how it was executed without the consent of staff and students is fair for the school. Is it fair for those who have earned their privilege? Is it fair for those seniors who have already paid the senior dues? Is it fair for those who have followed the rules with their lunch passes? Is it fair for the school that has recently scored the highest API in the west?
More heartbreaking for seniors as they have waited for three years to finally have the opportunity to leave every day at lunch, not just on Mondays as juniors and sophomores were only allowed to do. Students, especially seniors, are now outraged under the situation. Petitions are being circulated, but as of now, the principal is steadfast on her decision, making petitions and similar protests almost futile.
If no compromise can be reached that would allow students to leave during lunch, students should be given some degree of what they can eat at lunch. Students should be able to sell food to others as it is their right to choose what is they want to eat, rather than being limited to school food or the food they bring from home. The school should also consider investing in a room where a microwave is present so students can heat food they bring from home.
With the decision to eliminate lunch passes being indefinite, students will just have to find some other time to eat at their favorite restaurants.