A simple concept that even us adults might have experienced in the past, open campus lunch allows students to leave the school campus on a break to have lunch outside. While some schools implement this policy, most of them do not. It has been one of the hot subjects in debates between individuals who have one opinion or another about it, where there is no real strong view. To come up with a well-informed idea on open campus lunch, let us take a look at its pros and cons.
List of Pros of Open Campus Lunch
1. Opportunity to Learn Responsibility and Interaction
Open campus lunch is observed to have taught students to be able to interact with the world and be more responsible in certain ways that are closer to how adults do it. Well, they have to communicate with other people when they go to the bank and then to the dining establishment, which is really helpful to their learning even if it is just quick.
2. Faith and Trust in Students on Managing Their Own Time
This policy requires schools to place their trust in their students on accordingly managing their time, teaching them an important skill for college and employment in the future—time management. Plus, when schools put their full faith on their students, they will feel empowered to make the right decisions for their future. As a result, they would do better at their studies. As individual responsibility is often seen to lack in students, an open campus lunch can provide them with just that.
3. Extra Time
Schools handle lunch differently in general, which makes a huge difference on how open campus lunch works. Some provide a short period of only minutes, specifically half of a class period, which will be almost impossible for students to leave and come back. However, others may give students long lunch periods, like an hour, which are likely perfect for this policy.
4. More Nutritious and Healthier Food Options
While the food that can be found within walking distance might not be the healthiest, it can offer more choices to students, which are good for those who want a varied diet. Also, not all school lunches are the same, and some providers are poorly doing their job with how they cook and prepare their dishes. Aside from lacking certain nutrients, they are not always cooked well or even palatable. On the other hand, when children are allowed to leave for lunch, they will have more opportunities to eat healthy.
5. A Break That Allows Children to Be Themselves
Being able to leave school for a while can be an excellent rest-and-restart for the rest of the day. This means that open campus lunch would energize children from being on their own and allow them to return fully prepared to finish things up.
List of Cons of Open Campus Lunch
1. Lack of Awareness
People always question whether students aging 16 years have the self-control to drive safely when running late. While adults think that it is better late than getting in an accident, young people do not. Also, there is the question of what other activities they might engage in during their time off campus. Normally, parents do feel they are placing their children in good hands with schools and can rest easy knowing they are safe. But with open campus lunch, parents would then have to wonder what their children during the given free period.
2. Opening for Children to Ditch School
By dropping their vigilance, many people believed that children will do everything possible not to learn. Along with spending more time off campus than they would if the policy were not implemented, there is the possibility that they will ditch school half the entire day. As a result, students would stop their studies, enrollment rates would decrease.
3. Chance for Children to Do Bad Things
On your end, what do you think would happen if children were let out, unsupervised and given the freedom to do whatever they want? For many people, they would not give children credit and would assume the very worst while they hope for the best. So, it is believed that children left unsupervised during open campus lunch may pose a certain danger to themselves and the community. Along with the concerns that children will use this chance to smoke, drink alcohol and take drugs, there is just unfavorable thought that they will get into trouble when they are not supervised.
4. Children Getting Hurt
This consequence can be the result of the previous cons. It is the responsibility of schools to ensure the safety and well-being of students, and having open campus lunch would make it more difficult to regulate these things if children are allowed to leave. From being physically assaulted to possibly being hit by a vehicle, letting them out would literally put them at risk. As a lot of parents do not have the luxury to supervise their children during the day, they sometimes push for a movement to cancel open campus lunches to better ensure their children’s safety.
One of the best ways to handle open campus lunch is to place some restrictions upon the time provided. This can be done by age restrictions, only allowing students who are 17 years or older or perhaps basing grade levels to ensure that students who are leaving are mature enough to handle themselves. Most probably, this will lead to growth, and the opportunity to learn from mistakes would certainly take place.
Some schools think creatively to consider their policies as potential sources of problems with student performance, and one of these policies is open campus lunch. Those who have it want to reduce the stress from housing and providing meals for students, but they should require students to police themselves and return to school in time. Based on the pros and cons listed above, what do you think about such a policy?