Letter: Young adults earn open campus lunch
To the editor:
I am a junior at Pittsfield High School. This is my first year at PHS, having moved to the district this summer. I previously attended New Lebanon (N.Y.) High School, where there was no policy of open campus lunch. As a result, it felt like the student body had less freedom.
Being stuck in a school building all day feels infantilizing, as if we have no agency of our own. A lack of open campus lunch also does not give students an opportunity to work off excess energy by walking or simply getting fresh air.
Though I do not often take advantage of open campus lunch, I enjoy having the opportunity to do so if I wish. Having the freedom to leave campus during lunch gives students more options for what to do during their lunch period, and shows that the school board respects us as young adults with agency and responsibility.
Some people may argue that open campus lunch for all students makes it more likely for students to be absent or late to the period after lunch. However, when open campus lunch was first challenged in 1973, Libby Tucker, a junior at PHS, successfully convinced the school board to keep open campus lunch with a presentation.
According to Tucker, quoted in the article "Approval again is given to PHS's open campus" from the Berkshire Eagle on Oct. 4, 1973, "The students who came in late are the same ones who would come in late anyway."
Attendance during the period after lunch, according to Tucker, was the same during the week of Sept. 11 when the school did not have open campus lunch, and the same week the next year when there was open campus lunch. Open campus lunch is an enriching experience for students that allows us freedom and real world experiences, and it should stay that way.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.