Upperclassmen find new freedom in open lunch

The+parking+lot+doesn%27t+have+a+lot+of+cars+in+it.

Nylah Roberts

The parking lot is very empty during open lunch compared to the rest of the day after all of the students come back.

Sarah Estok, News Editor

The parking lot doesn't have a lot of cars in it.
Nylah Roberts
The parking lot is empty during open lunch compared to the rest of the day after all of the students come back. About 355 students are signed up to leave four days a week for open lunch.

Starting early in the 2019-2020 school year, juniors and seniors were given the chance to have open lunch up to four days a week.

Open lunch is a time when students can leave during fifth and sixth period to go to local restaurants or home for their lunch.

“We have approximately 355 juniors and seniors that have signed up,” assistant principal Rex Redder said. “It’s nice to see a lot of people excited about something.”

According to Reeder, in order to keep open lunch students have to abide by three standards: keep all of their grades a C- or above, have no disciplinary issues and have no attendance issues.

“My goal is to give students a chance to try and be pumped up to keep their grades up,” Reeder said. “To have no discipline issues, maybe treat everyone with some kindness, be at school on time and maybe this is something that will intrigue them.”

Open lunch is set up on a three-strike system. Students get strikes when they show up late and after three strikes, they are kicked out of the program for the year.

However, there are exceptions to this in some circumstances.

“If something happens, if your car doesn’t start or you get in an accident… I just ask them to call,” Reeder said.

When out in the community, students are aware that they are still representing Hayes High School, so they have to be respectful and mature when going around town. If there are any complaints about specific students, it also can result in a strike for them.

“Being upperclassmen, I think they know it’s something nice to have,” Reeder said. “It can be taken away at any time so I think doing the right thing is a part of that.”

Reeder hopes that the opportunities of open lunch will help give students motivations to follow rules and create fewer problems.

“A number of students told me ‘hey I’m keeping my grades up for this,’” Reeder said. “I think once you taste it, you go outside and you have a little break and you have the freedom to do that, it’s kind of nice. Kids have been positive and more upbeat because it’s kind of nice to take a break.”