Underclassman should remain on campus for lunch

Every school year, hundreds of incoming juniors and seniors have earned the privilege to leave campus for the entire 40–minute lunch period. During this time they are able to relax, unwind and step away from school.
This luxury is not given out freely, however. It is rewarded to the upperclassmen who have earned it. Now, imagine double that amount of students, with freshmen and sophomores roaming the streets and rushing to make it back to campus in time for sixth period.
Although it is early in the 2021–22 school year, many students at WHS have been discussing whether or not it is fair that the upperclassmen are given the opportunity to leave campus for lunch while freshmen and sophomores are not.
WHS should not fall victim to these overzealous arguments and keep the rules just as they are.
Some students argue that these rules are unfair because they push the narrative of “superiority” among the upperclassmen, giving them more privileges. With everyone being able to gain this benefit of off–campus access, it would create a fair and equal atmosphere at WHS.
However, offering off–campus passes for all students would create more problems than benefits, such as causing unnecessary chaos for students and administrators due to the majority of the student body leaving and returning to the school campus at the same time and within such a short period of time.
Additionally, these rules are a matter of tradition, and there have been no major setbacks with only having juniors and seniors leave campus for lunch. These rules are followed by numerous schools all around the country, and there is no need for that to change.
Putting new rules in place would wreak havoc on the staff and students and take a while to get used to. Especially with the challenges still being brought forth by COVID–19, WHS should not put any additional stress on parents, staff and administrators for something insignificant.
Furthermore, this freedom is not just handed out to every single junior and senior. It is earned. These privileges apply only to students with a 2.0 GPA or higher, and the attendance office looks at tardies and truancies.
While this issue is a matter of privilege and tradition, it is also a matter of safety. The majority of freshmen and sophomores cannot drive, meaning if they were to leave campus at lunch, they would have to walk to crowded local hangout areas and expect to make it back in 40 minutes.
The WHS lunch period correlates with the lunch break of employees at many businesses within proximity of the school. Freshmen and sophomores crossing streets and running around during a rush hour is dangerous and accidents are easily avoidable if the school does not expand off–­­­­campus lunch to underclassmen.
It is important for schools to regularly re–evaluate their policies and make sure the rules best serve the needs and safety of students, and in this case, the assessment suggests that for the well–being of students and staff, WHS should not expand off–campus lunch privileges to freshmen and sophomores.

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