Monday, February 16, 2009

It's About the Process

A friend writes,
"Did you hear the latest at Pioneer? They just announced that next year the 11th graders won't be able to go out for lunch. And the year after that the 12th graders won't be able to."
"Well," I say, "How was that decided?"
"I have no idea."

If you've ever been to Pioneer at lunchtime, you know that it's crowded. Kids used to eat in the halls but that was banned a few years ago, and the 9th graders get the cafeteria, leaving the 10th graders (and those older kids who choose to eat in school) to sit on bleachers in the gym. It's obviously not ideal.
So with the "space" created by the opening of Skyline, what should happen with lunch? Should kids have to eat at Pioneer for lunch?

I don't know if Mr. White is right. I do know that the 9th and 10th graders, in particular, are outraged. For them, it is a taking. I have no idea why, or if, it is a problem to have kids leave campus. Most of us have been letting our kids eat lunch alone since middle school.

I wonder: is this a form of collective punishment? (If a few kids don't come back after lunch, or go out and smoke, should everyone lose the privilege? Why not revoke the privilege for the few? And for that, why wait until next year?)
When was this identified as a problem? Who was brought in on the decision?
Was the PTO part of it? Was the Student Council part of it?

Decision making works best when the process occurs in the light of day.

As for my friend--it's just one more thing that makes her hate the Pioneer climate.


  1. Look, a kid from Pioneer during a school day jumped from an overpass onto the highway below last month, in a suicide attempt. It is not surprising the administration doesn't want the kids to wander off site for lunch. They are responsible for those kid's well being. Typical AAPS, they don't solve a problem, lunch is crowded and no good place to eat.. they just force a poor compromise. All that money, and no good place to sit and eat???

  2. I thought this was a reprint from 25 years ago. They made us stay on campus in 1980-81 as well. I guess this rule comes in and out with circumstances.