Could open-campus lunch be closed for good?


Jonah Armstrong

South side, Cafeteria Gate. This is the gate that Tuhs students now must enter every morning for school. This is aslo the gate where students who choose to eat off-campus leave and come back. but will this gate be shut for good to students who want to go off-campus.

As of recent news, Deputy Gregory, who is the school resource officer, presented on the Nov 13, 2018 board meeting per request of board member Wendy Berry. Gregory advised to the Board of Trustees to reconsider off-campus lunch. Gregory stated at the beginning of his presentation saying, “I’m not trying to keep the kids in because the kids are good. I’m trying to keep the bad in society out and we have a lot of it in Taft and it’s sad — and that’s I worry about; I hate the open campus.” Gregory said, “Almost every one of our problems takes place at lunch”.

Gregory went into further detail on how he felt about open–campus lunch, as he said, “We have all these great kids who go off campus and make some bad decisions, they’re not bad kids, they have a lot of freedom– then we have a lot of homeless. I want you to see what’s walking around our kids at lunch and it’s scary–and that’s what scares me. I mean–it’s terrifying because of the fights and stuff like that. Theirs one of me and three or four hundred of them leave and, when they’re on campus, they’re safe… and when they’re off campus and they’re gone, it’s terrifying. I think we need to try and implement something where we keep them on campus.” Gregory then added, saying, “So it’s not our kids I’m worried about, it’s society with our kids I’m worried about and the accountability that I’m supposed to keep them safe and it’s almost impossible at lunch.”

Since then, students (both upper and lower grades) have begun to voice their concerns on the pending matter. It is unknown at the moment if any local businesses have pushed back against the idea, something Gregory did mention during his presentation that local businesses and students would push against the idea. Gusher reporter, Brett Walls, went out to get student opinions and what their grievances may be on the dilemma. Mahaila Laulu, a junior, was inquired on where she stood on the matter, “No, for one, it’s easier for us to go get our stuff. If they do, they should close it for underclassmen. I think it should be a privilege, in my opinion. Most of the trouble happens with the underclassmen because they haven’t matured yet.” Laulu stated. Craig Popejoy, a sophomore, also commented on the subject saying, “They should keep it. It’ll prevent a lot of students from doing bad things…it should be our decision where we wanna pay our money.” Jose Campos, a senior, had a similar opinion to underclassmen Popejoy stating, “No I do not agree with this. Because I think everybody should have the right to go off campus and enjoy their lunch.” Bryce Veach, a freshman, also spoke to Gusher reporter Walls, “No, I don’t want it because it’s free time. We’re on campus all day, and it’s way too packed to all eat here anyway. And there’s a lot more choices.”

As it may seem no decisions have been made yet on the matter, with student opinions from both lower and upperclassmen varying.

Gregory is unable to comment due to him not being a public information officer.