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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of June 18 - 24, 2003


Keep students on campus


The Blaine County School Board should embrace a program to keep both freshman and sophomore students on campus for lunch at the new Wood River High School.

Keeping freshman and sophomores on campus makes sense. Keeping juniors on campus would make sense, too, leaving off-campus lunch trips as a perk for seniors.

Problems with the open campus have been clear for years.

Short lunch periods make off-campus lunches a drive-dine-and-dash proposition. Residential neighborhoods have complained to the school district for years about the hazards posed by hungry young drivers making a beeline through their neighborhoods in hot pursuit of a sandwich—and back.

School administrators are nearly helpless when it comes to monitoring parking lot activities. Someone was always going in or out of the school parking lot during staggered lunch periods—and anyone who wished to conceal an irresponsible or illegal activity could do so.

Until now, the school board had little choice but to keep the campus open because there was not enough room in the existing school to feed all students.

Travel restrictions on freshmen and sophomores have much to recommend them, especially if parking areas are separated. School administrators will have an easier time monitoring activities in parking areas if only half the student body is allowed to leave campus. Neighborhoods close by will see fewer drivers doing the dash-and-dine.

If the school board adopts the recommendation, open-campus parking will be a privilege, not a right. Administrators will have another tool with which to reinforce responsible student behavior and provide consequences for irresponsible behavior. The new policy has the potential to teach much about delayed gratification, earned privilege, responsibility and respect.

The new program isn’t a knock on younger students. It’s a clear-eyed and sensible approach to the problems of an open campus.


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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.