Open Campus at Triton High School?


Berkeley High School students enjoying their lunch out of school (Noah Berger photo).

Triton High School should consider an open campus policy for juniors and seniors. This would allow students to leave campus during free periods such as studies or lunch. 

Allowing students to leave during free periods will teach them responsibility and independence skills. Not only does it give students freedom with their day, but it also helps students become more mature knowing they can leave for a little while and still make it back to campus for their next class. Students would feel less trapped in school and it will be a much happier environment for everyone. 

Assistant principal Scott Brennan came from an open campus high school and said it was great. He had the freedom to leave and come back for class or receive the punishment of detention if he didn’t make it back in time. 

“It depends on the maturity of the kids,” said Brennan when asked about the possibility of this policy working.

Especially now, in a pandemic, it would just make sense for students to be able to get out of the school. Currently, students eat lunch in the cafeteria at desks separated from each other, but most students tend to move the desks closer together to talk to their friends. Some feel as though eating this way is not safe because of the large number of students there at one time. 

“With these (points at mask) and all that stuff going on, keep them (students) out of school,” said Brennan. 

Students are already leaving school during lunch, without permission. This way, they are not accounted for. They return to school only to either get away with it or get punished for trying to get a short break from the building while their academic classes weren’t taking place. If there was an open campus policy a system could be put in place to sign out before leaving. This way, everyone is accounted for and no one gets in trouble. 

Junior Evan Mace thinks an open campus would improve his school day because he would have more freedom to do the things he needs to do. He thinks he would get more work done at home during his studies because there are fewer distractions. 

“It would be nice to leave early so I could go do other things, like work,” said Mace. 

Senior Melika Mohit thinks an open campus policy would make students more independent and hopes it will be considered. 

“We can practice being more independent and it’s just more realistic than always being stuck in this building,” said Mohit. 

Obviously, there are some things to consider, such as parents not being okay with their child leaving school during the day. However, like field trips, it could be made so parents would have to sign a permission slip allowing their child to participate in leaving campus. 

With the few cons to this policy, there are many pros which is why Triton High School should take an open campus policy into consideration.