The New Lunch Fuss

Sophie Arrington, Reporter

Lunch at Paschal, arguably one of the best times at Paschal for Juniors and Seniors, is a way for students to be able to escape the school and get something to eat from the various chains around the area. This option is a very popular one at Paschal as many students take this opportunity to leave and get lunch with their friends. Although this typical fashion of leaving to get food for lunch is very popular, a new mandate of requiring IDs to leave for lunch has added a “speed bump” for Paschal drivers leaving for lunch.


   Beginning a few weeks ago, for Paschal students to leave the parking lot they must provide a physical Paschal ID, including the driver and all passengers. Students must leave through the gate that lets out directly to Berry, rather than the gate that goes through Panther Alley. This new safety regulation for Paschal, while enforced for a reason unknown to many, has started to cause mass chaos among students. 


   For example, many students do not even understand why this new rule has been enforced let alone why it runs the way it does. Ryan Taing, Paschal Senior, said “Having the back gate open would make the process much easier because traffic would flow easier. Ryan continued, “I don’t know why they have started doing all of this now.” Many students complain of how it takes much longer to leave the parking lot too. Caroline Gutierrez, Paschal Senior, cites, “I used to be able to get home in 10 minutes or less but now I don’t even leave the parking lot for 15 minutes.


Students wait in line in at lunch to get permission to leave campus. (sophie arrington)

   Not only is the time and confusion of this new method bothering students, but many are concerned about crashes. All Paschal students are new drivers, some with licenses for a year and some for a week, but piling up eager teenagers who are hungry and aggravated and forcing them to leave through one exit causes a lot of stress for drivers, trying to navigate through a field of cars and students jay-walking.


   With all of these concerns from students, I reached out to Ms. Jennifer Pate, Assistant Principal for Paschal, to try and get solutions on not only why this mandate went into effect and what it means for the future of Paschal. 


     Ms. Pate first commented on how the ID checks will continue on for the rest of the year. “The policy will remain in effect for the school year. The back gates will not be available for student use during the lunch periods.” She continued this by explaining how we as students and administrators can make this process easier, “In order to expedite the leaving process, students should turn right out of the lot onto Berry. Those attempting to turn left are causing a traffic jam. Also, students need to have their IDs ready when they get in their cars. This will also help speed things up.”


   Not only did Ms. Pate comment on the pace and process of this new rule, but she was able to provide an explanation of why this rule has been put into place. Pate first starts off saying, “The reason for change- SAFETY! Those who are not eligible to leave campus (9th/10th grade) are getting into cars with upperclassmen or going out the back gates. Leaving campus as an upperclassman is a privilege and should be looked at as something students look forward to doing once they are eligible.” 


 Along with this, Pate explained, “Additionally, we can better monitor who is coming onto the PHS campus in vehicles. We have had numerous accounts of parents, visitors from the community, and students from other campuses entering through the back gates.” Pate included how this is not the rule for entering Paschal and can hinder the schools safety, and added, “The safety and security of our students is our #1 priority at Paschal. We will continue to monitor and adjust based on campus and student needs.”