Wakefield’s great debate: should sophomores be allowed off-campus?


Staff Graphic by Nara Hamburger

As sophomores begin to drive, the debated topic of going off campus is discussed. Staff and students express their opinions on the topic.

Nara Hamburger, Staff Writer

As sophomores begin to get their license, the hot topic of off-campus lunch is often discussed. With many differing opinions, it is inevitable that there will be some debate. Every year, as a new wave of students get their licenses, one debate, in particular, tends to arise: should underclassmen be allowed to leave the school campus for lunch?

School lunch might not be everyone’s first choice for a meal, so there is the option for off-campus lunch. This privilege is given only to juniors and seniors, meaning underclassmen are required to stay in the building for lunch. Students, particularly sophomores, don’t always agree with these rules.

Unfortunately, the school is not able to decide who is allowed to leave the campus, these rules are mandated by the district.

Although Wakefield’s principal, Malik Bazzel, cannot allow sophomores to go off campus, he is not opposed to the idea of it.

“If I were to allow it, I would attach it to a certain GPA,” Bazzel said. “I would be more inclined to let sophomores go because it shows some level of responsibility.”

It takes a certain level of maturity and responsibility when it comes to going off-campus. This applies not only when driving but also in the form of representing the school in an acceptable manner during lunch. Teachers are able to best understand the limits to their students’ maturity level.

I would be more inclined to let sophomores go because it shows some level of responsibility.

— Bazzell

Chelsea George, a chemistry teacher, teaches primarily sophomores and juniors. Because of this, she is well-versed in the behaviors of each.

“I think there is a big difference in the maturity of a sophomore versus a junior,” George said.

Sophomore, Corinne Fisher, acknowledges the difference between the two grades but believes there is room for compromise. Not all sophomores are allowed to drive, but many of them acquire a limited license after a couple of months of school being in session.

“I think it is fair that [upperclassmen] get to [go off-campus],” Fisher said. “But I also think that if a sophomore has their license, they should be able to apply to get one because they are permitted drivers.”

Students seem to have similar opinions, even though they are in different grades with different opportunities. Jason Howard, a junior, agrees that sophomores should have the opportunity to leave for lunch.

“Since sophomores are able to drive they should be able to use that ability to go off-campus,” Howard said.

However, just because someone has a license does not mean that they are responsible enough for off-campus lunch. Sophomores are generally between the ages of 15 and 16, meaning any sophomore with a license would have just gotten it. New drivers in the student parking lot can be hectic, as it is a tightly packed area.

“I know the student parking lot can be an intense place at times, especially at lunch when lunch is so short,” George said. “If lunch was longer and students weren’t in such a panic to get out, I would say, ‘Yeah go for it.’”