If Ridgewood High School can go out to lunch, why can’t we?

If Ridgewood High School can go out to lunch, why can't we?

Photo Credit: Julie Singh

by Julie Singh, Staff Writer

For years, juniors at Glen Rock High School have been yearning for the privilege of leaving the campus for lunch. Currently, leaving the school for lunch is solely a privilege entitled to seniors, an entitlement that Glen Rock High School has abided by in the past.

Ridgewood High School, which follows the same rotating drop schedule, allows students grades ten through twelve to leave their school’s campus during lunch.

If seniors can, why can’t juniors?”

— Maddy Doubet, junior

“Ridgewood is a different type town because kids can walk to the downtown. But here I don’t know if you can walk to the downtown in an hour. But I think I’d be open to the discussion of juniors leaving campus for lunch,” Principal John Arlotta said.

The new schedule welcomes many changes and the proposition that juniors will be allowed to leave for lunch is definitely a topic that will be addressed. Juniors in Glen Rock feel that there is more than enough time to make it home and back within the hour.

Maddy Doubet, junior, asked, “If seniors can, why can’t juniors?”

Many other schools in northern New Jersey follow the same rotating drop schedule that we have recently adopted, and, of those schools, many allow their juniors to leave the school grounds for lunch.  Leaving lunch is a privilege, and I believe that allowing the juniors to leave for lunch will test the junior class on whether they can accept the responsibilities this privilege entitles.

According to Ridgewood High School lunch regulations, the current Ridgewood High School Principal, Thomas Gorman, explained, “Students in grades ten through twelve are allowed to leave RHS campus provided they do not violate school rules. This has been in place for thirty plus years.”

Yet what juniors do not realize is that there are many business contracts that would have to be altered in order to allow this change to be enacted. There are both teacher and lunch contracts (with Pomptonian food service) that Glen Rock High School must continue to stick to, or otherwise breach the terms of the initial contract.

Although many juniors feel that they can accept and respect the responsibilities associated with leaving for lunch, they don’t see the possible liabilities associated with this privilege. And unfortunately for current juniors, leaving campus for lunch is not a possibility for this school year due to these existing contracts.

Nevertheless, as the weather worsens, the courtyard will soon be closed. With the new block lunch, all students on campus will either eat in the gym or the cafeteria for lunch.

“What we’re going to do, is try to spice up the gymnasium during the winter months because it’s not the most exciting environment in the world. So we’re going to do things like maybe have entertainment in there, and do things to try to make it a viable thing,” Arlotta said.