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Closed campus dissapoints

Since a half-hour lunch, according to former Assistant Principal Felicia Bailey-Carr, “sets you up to be late,” administration decided to take away off-campus passes this year. Since a half-hour lunch, according to former Assistant Principal Felicia Bailey-Carr, “sets you up to be late,” administration decided to take away off-campus passes this year.  Principal Andre Phillips said, “A large amount of juniors and seniors last year would go off campus and by the time they would come back, the bell had already rung.”

Students would show up late to class with food, which some teachers didn’t allow.  This caused students to sit outside for much of the 58-minute class period.  When it came to being tardy, teacher Susan Diohep had no tolerance. “I made a practice of if you had three tardies, it was detention,” she said. She noticed that once she started holding students accountable, tardies weren’t so much of a big issue for her. Other than students arriving late to class, some would not even show up until sixth period. To solve this issue, administration figured that if they close the campus, everybody would be in their fifth period class resulting in fewer tardies and absences. Finishing the first month of school, the amount of tardies and absences has decreased after lunch.

Senior Veronica Ochoa saw the off-campus passes as a way for students to become motivated. She said, “Some people might have been encouraged to meet the required grade to get the off-campus pass. Now that there are no off-campus passes, people can become discouraged.”  Phillips is still looking for ways to fix this dilemma. He said, “The requirements for the pass would not change, but the protocol would. If there was enough manpower to stand back there and check those who are not coming back to class, they would get their pass revoked.” Another solution that is being considered is to possibly extend the lunch for at least 10 minutes next year. If this happened, the whole school day would be extended, instead of getting out at 2:13 the school day would be over at 2:30.

When junior Jacob Lloyd was a freshman, going off campus was something he looked forward to. “I got my license and I didn’t get it to go off campus, but it would have been a perk.” Lloyd understands why this decision was taken but he thinks it should have only applied for students that have a record of being constantly late. Lloyd said, “The people that have been on time aren’t benefiting from this.”  Senior Brandon Alonso agrees. He said, “I don’t think it’s fair to punish every student for something not everyone did.” Alonso made sure to make the best of his 30-minute lunch,  whether he and his friends went to the nearby places in the Venetian Square Shopping Center or to a slightly further place like Taco Bell, “I  would go off campus everyday, but I would never be late to class,” Alonso said. “I spent that whole year being responsible just to pay for the consequences of others.”

Even though the campus is closed for now, Phillips is working to resolve the issue. “We’re looking for students to fill out the off-campus applications and see who meets the requirements.” If the off-campus passes were to come back, he said the administration would strongly enforce the rules that come with having this privilege.

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Closed campus dissapoints