Open campus lunch is a simple concept and some of us have even had this in the past. It allows students to leave the campus for the period of time that they do not have class. There are some schools that have this is place and most do not. It is one of those things that is up in the air and most people have one opinion or another, but not any real strong views.
The Pros of Open Campus Lunch
1. Teach Responsibility and Interaction
On the pro side of the argument is the fact that this can teach students to be more responsible and to interact with the world in a way that is closer to how the adult population does. There is something to be said for trying to get to the bank and then to the fast food place in a short minute period of time. We have all had to do it and we all learned the hard way that it does not work all the time.
2. More Time
Different schools have different ways of handling lunch in general and that will make a big difference for how the open campus lunch would work. There are some schools that have a lunch period that is as short as minutes, which is considered half of a class period. That would be near impossible for a student to leave and come back in. There are other schools that may give the students as long as an hour or slightly more to do lunch in and that is very possible for the open campus lunch program.
The Cons of Open Campus Lunch
1. Lack of Awareness
On the negative side, people question whether a student of 16 years old has the presence of mind to drive safely when running late. An adult knows that being a little late is better than getting in an accident. This is not something that every is going to know. There is also the question of what other activities will take place in their off-campus time. Parents often feel that the time from the start of school to the end of the school day as a “safe time” for their . They feel they have placed their children in competent hands and can rest easy knowing that the are safe and at school. With the lunch being open campus, the parents would then have to wonder what the are doing during that period of time.
2. Age Differences
The best way to handle open campus at any time is to place some restrictions upon the time. Age restrictions are some of the best, allowing only students that are 17 or older, or perhaps based on their grade level would help to ensure that those leaving are a little more mature than others. There is no doubt that this will have a growth curve and some learning from mistakes will take place.