Juniors and seniors adjust to staying at school for lunch


Maddie Wells

Students in lunches this year are assigned to tables by themselves in order to maximize social distancing.

Juniors and seniors have reached the last half of high school, and with that comes a lot of responsibility as well as some perks underclassmen don’t get.
Among those perks is open lunch. Juniors and seniors who have C average grades or above have traditionally been allowed to leave for lunch and House. However, this year looks quite different.
“After talking with the Health Department, we realized open lunch was too hard to contact trace with, so having kids in the building was the best way to go,” Principal Ric Stranges said.
With Covid-19 affecting pretty much every aspect of life, including school, the day to day of Hayes students has drastically changed and one of the biggest changes is lunch. Now with three lunch periods, one student per table, and no house, students are at a loss of what to think.
“I think the new way lunch is set up is weird, but it makes sense to make sure kids are socially distancing at all times,” senior Eric Tucker said.
For sophomores, open lunch was something to look forward to when coming into junior year. This year’s class of juniors were taken back by the lack of open lunch and many seniors feel as though they are lacking a part of the high school experience.
“Juniors are missing the excitement of being an upperclassman finally,” senior Madison Griscti said. “The freedom of having open lunch [is] a privilege the freshmen and sophomores don’t get.”
With the way Covid-19 has affected everyone’s day to day life, the lack of normalcy is expected. The most important thing on everyone’s mind is to keep each other safe.
“It’s a different year, the pandemic has changed our thinking,” Stranges said. “Now it’s about making sure everybody is healthy and safe.”
Even though students may not like the changes, most are understanding of the difficulty of the decision Stranges made.
“I honestly have no idea what I’d do in this given position,” Griscti said. “[Stranges] had a very tough decision to make and I would’ve had a very hard time figuring out how to do what’s best for everyone.”
Overall, even though students may miss open lunch, the decisions that were made are respected by students because most understand the difficulty that was at hand and that it was a change for everyone.
“I miss rewarding students, and [open lunch] was a nice breath of fresh air,” Stranges said. “I miss being able to let my students take a break from school.”