Investigating an Open Campus Policy: Is it worth it for Byram Hills?

By Arianna Tabankin

Should Byram Hills High School be an open campus? To begin, an open campus can be described as a policy in which students are allowed to leave school if they do not have a class or a place to be at that time. Typically, this is in correlation with lunch, as some schools allow students to leave during their lunch period. Currently, our school’s policy is a closed campus, but should this change?

First off, our highschool is not in a very convenient area. Excluding the big hill to get into the school, it is located relatively far from anything besides houses. It is not close to town, thus there are no accessible food places, and one of the biggest reasons for an open campus would be for lunch purposes. Therefore, if there is nothing near school, an open campus is pretty useless. Finally, walking anywhere is out of the question; nothing is in a close enough proximity. 

Let us take Tazza Cafe for example. Tazza is approximately 2.3 miles away from our school. This is a 51 minute walk on a main road; a ludicrous task to even consider. Well then, what if students drove? There are such a limited number of students who drive to school every morning that enforcing an open campus policy would barely affect anyone. Not to mention the traffic that would ensue as all of the upperclassman may try to leave at the same time. Likewise, it would not be fair that only students with cars could take advantage of the opportunity, leaving everyone else without reaping the benefits of the policy. Also, our lunch periods are only 25 minutes, so there is absolutely no way that people would be able to leave school, go purchase lunch, and come back in such a short time span – people would constantly be late for class. Julia Lucchino feels as such; “I would like an open campus but honestly everything is too far away, especially since we only have a 25 minute lunch period.”

So, with our circumstances, it is unfortunately not in our best interests to make Byram Hills an open campus. It does not make sense geographically, morally, or in a practical time manner. Our school is not close enough to any resources, would only affect select students, and we are not given enough time during lunch to efficiently go anywhere. Enforcing this type of policy is not fair to the entirety of the student body, and is overall, not worth the advantages.  So while some schools may benefit from an open campus, our school would not, and should remain a closed one.