New lunch rules impact WCHS students


Photo by Claire Moylan

WCHS Staff has started to check Student ID’s to double-check that they are seniors before letting them leave campus during lunch.

By Claire Moylan, Photo Manager

After a WCHS student sits through four periods, they finally hear the sound of the bell signaling that it is time for a break from studying, note-taking and working. It is time for lunch. Most students have very specific ways that they want to spend this time, but recent changes to lunch regulations have caused students to adjust what they do with the 55-minute period.

All WCHS students spend their lunches differently, but many of them typically want to get off campus. Whether that means getting a ride from an older peer, or driving themselves, many students use this time to get themselves lunch or just spend some time out of school.

“I know a lot of people that like to leave school during lunch,” WCHS sophomore Natalia Caetano said. “I think a lot of people like to go get food at Cabin John down the street or even just hang out in their car.”

Even before these new regulations, WCHS had rules regarding leaving campus at lunch. The main rule was that only seniors are allowed to leave the campus, but it has not been strictly enforced.

“I know that they have always only wanted seniors to leave, but until recently, it hasn’t been too hard to leave even if you aren’t a senior,” Caetano said.

Any student who has been at WCHS during lunch in the past few weeks will have noticed the recent changes to more strictly enforce that only seniors leave campus. Teachers and administrators have been stationed at various exits around the school with the task of IDing students at the door to ensure they are seniors.

“I always see administrators standing by the main office exit,” Caetano said. “I think that they have people show them their student IDs or their StudentVUE to ensure that they make sure they are seniors and are allowed to leave.”

Although there have been steps to make sure all students are following this very important rule, some still question the effectiveness of it.

“I just don’t really know if they are ever going to be able to completely stop people from leaving at lunch,” Caetano said. “There are just so many different exits for students to leave out of and if they are quick enough, they can get out without a problem. I understand why they have the rule and they are doing a pretty good job of enforcing it, but I just don’t know if they will ever be able to completely stop everyone from leaving.”

Along with checking IDs, administrators have started cracking down on students being tardy to sixth period. As students often return late to school, lunch detentions have been given to students who are in the hallways after the sixth-period late bell has rung.
“There was one day that I had been talking to a teacher and left a little late and I was stopped by an administrator on the way to class,” WCHS sophomore Sydney Barrett said. “There was this group of two or three students all standing there because they had been stopped too. I was given this little red slip that said I would have lunch detention the next day and then I was sent to class.”

WCHS students often discuss these types of regulations that are put in place and this new strategy has been debated among students over whether it is helping or hurting the situation.

“I think that it helps a little because students want to avoid getting detention,” Caetano said. “I heard about the new rule from a few of my teachers and I think that it made me pay more attention to the time during lunch to ensure that I wasn’t late, but you never know when you’re going to get distracted one day and then all of a sudden you have detention.”

On the other hand, others believe that this concept is actually counterproductive to the goal of the administration as it could further prevent students from getting to their sixth period efficiently.

“When I got stopped on my way to sixth period I had to wait for the administrator to write out the detention slips for me and three other students which made me even more late to class,” Barrett said. “While I was standing there and waiting I ended up missing more class and instruction time than I would have if I was able to just go to class.”

Lunch is a very crucial time for WCHS students as it provides a brief escape, and although these rules may change the way that break works, they are still very important.

“I think that a lot of students probably don’t like the changes that have been happening because it can make their lunch a lot harder, but I guess that we just have to change the way we do lunch to fit the new rules,” Caetano said.