Lansing High Schools To Have Closed Lunches

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

A couple of weeks ago, during Everett High School's open campus lunch period, neighbor Kelly Proper looked out her window and did not like what she saw.

"Everett High School students were lighting firecrackers on my tires."

She says such behavior is the norm in her neighborhood during school lunchtime.

But that should now change.

The Lansing School Board voted Thursday night to close high school campuses during lunch starting next school year. No longer will students roam the streets during their lunches.

Board vice president Hugh Clarke says the decision just made sense; schools next year will have different standards on the lengths of lunchtimes, and in essence they'll be too short to safely get kids back to school.

The decision to bag the open lunch period didn't come without discussion about safety and logistics. But in the end, board members unanimously agreed to change the hour-long open campus lunches into 30-minute periods to be spent in the cafeteria.

"I think it'll take some getting used to, but it's not that big of a deal," Clarke says.

Proper says discussion on whether or not to close lunches has been ongoing, with neighbors near Everett high school espcially vocal. For at least 20 years, they've said open lunches are bad policy for the community. Proper cites litter, marijuana smoking and bad language as some of the vices the students exhibit during those breaks.

"In many ways, they're little nuisances, but they affect our quality of life."

She's looking forward to quieter lunch hours and a reduction in vandalism, vandalism she attributes to the students.

But she won't believe the changes until she sees them.

"If they stick with it til the first of September, I'll jump for joy. Until then, I'll just wait."


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