Off-campus policy useless

May 30, 2008 — by Alicia Lee and Kavya Nagarajan

Here’s something that should surprise no one: Time and time again underclassmen go off campus, either by walking or driving, during lunch or free periods. Whether it’s for a Starbucks run or a quick stop at home, sophomores and freshmen frequently leave campus and rarely get caught—yet the rules are still, on occasion, enforced with harsh punishments. If these efforts to restrict students are futile, then why be so strict on such a trivial issue?

The fact of the matter is that when many teens are forced to abide by the rules, their desire to break them only increases. Downtown Saratoga is within walking distance and has several restaurants that appeal to teenagers, and friends who drive are only one call away.

Besides that, there is no efficient way to enforce the rule that underclassmen aren’t allowed off campus. Even if school officials stand in the parking lots and check every single student who leaves campus, there is no way to be sure that no underclassman is leaving. They can easily lie about what grade they are in, and campus supervisors wouldn’t have a clue.

There is no easy solution to this problem. Nevertheless, clearly assigning a few students a Saturday school for the one time they get caught is not going to solve very much. Instead, the school shouldn’t enforce such a lost cause.

Saratoga is known to have secure neighborhoods and doesn’t have a high crime rate, so students are generally safe when out. It’s not as if students can even get far from campus anyways because they need time to return also, whether it’s by foot or by car.

By getting rid of this rule, everyone would have one less thing to worry about.

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