Can Students be Trusted Off Campus?


Student leaving school

Mariner and neighboring high schools have yet to grant students’ long-held wish of open campus.

Open campus at Mariner High has been a long lasting idea in people’s heads for some time now. Some students would probably love the concept, but is it reasonable?

Since students aren’t allowed to leave campus during school hours, some people resort to Uber Eats and order the food straight to school. Instead of eating the free food that Mariner provides during lunch hours, students would much rather pay money for higher quality food.

Sometimes the amount of supervision upper classmen (11th & 12th Graders) receive can feel quite restricting. A senior named Dante James, otherwise known as Charles by his peers, talks about his experience when approaching his car during school hours.

“I was going to my car one time to skip school, but Ms. Julie caught me and pressed me about why I had to go to my car,” James said, “I told her I forgot something. I was just lucky my computer was in there so it didn’t seem fake.”

When it comes down to student safety, the administrators don’t want to deal with unnecessary conflict due to students leaving campus. Open campus can cause risk to more teen accidents and more absences.

Some parents want their students to learn time management and think that an open campus would be a great idea, but the safety measures and supervision issues can cause more trouble than good for students and the staff at school. Not only that but skipping class would probably be at an even higher rate if students were able to leave campus, which could drop overall grade scores in schools.

Some students said that no one really asks permission to go to their vehicles. They just go and they usually don’t get caught. Even though it isn’t allowed some students still drive off campus sometimes for a quick meal or just to leave and stay home. Voung Luc, a senior, shares about his experience when driving off campus.

“Half the time I’m not at school, I’m usually at home,” Luc said, “and when I am at school I just leave campus whenever to get boba or something”.

Leaving campus doesn’t happen as often as you might think, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t common. During lunches to prevent people from leaving campus, the security guards do checks all around the school building to survey the area and make sure no student is trying to leave campus without some sort of permission. The school also has 24/7 surveillance cameras around the perimeter of the building, which allows the administrators to keep the students and have no problems supervision issues.

Hainzle Malcolm is an active security guard at Mariner High. He talks about his duties and what he does to help student follow school guide lines and keep them safe.

“On a day to day basis I make sure students and staff are safe, make sure that students are where they’re supposed to be, and do whatever I can to help them. I also make sure that anyone who isn’t supposed to be on campus or anyone suspicious isn’t around school grounds,” Malcolm said, “I try to talk to the kids and make sure everything’s alright to ensure that Mariner High School is a safe place for them”.

Hainzle also talks about what the security guards would do if there is someone trespassing or if there is any danger in the area.

“If we do get word that a stranger or something going on nearby that could be a threat we make sure that all exterior doors are closed and locked,” Malcolm said, “we make sure that all classrooms are secure and safe, and try to keep watch over the entire school until we know that it’s safe in the area”.

If students were allowed open campus then supervision wouldn’t be as tight and some factors regarding students safety would no longer be in the school’s control. Since, during school hours the administrators and the school’s security is responsible for student safety.

Open campus could open new possibilities for students to get hurt, but could also give students more freedom. The administrators would much rather have the students at school where they can better protect them in case there ever is an emergency or something hazardous is going on in the area.

Mariner teacher Charles Nichols said that if Mariner High were to ever accept open campus then there should be a sign in, sign out system so the school knows which students are out at what time. This is so that if students don’t arrive back at school at their respective times then they will have to face consequences.

“In this particular neighborhood I would worry about what everyone would get up to if Mariner had open campus,” Nichols said, “there is activity in the neighborhood and definitely some activity the school so  if we aren’t able to observe it, then we can’t guarantee anyone’s safety”.