Off campus pass requirements necessary

Gwendolyn Poole, Staff Writer

Bear Creek offers upperclass students the ability to go off campus at lunch if they meet certain qualifications ‒ they must have fewer than seven period absences, at least a 2.0, and no disciplinary actions taken against them.

If the school were to drop these expectations, and allow all juniors and seniors the ability to acquire a pass, the consequences could be numerous.
First, having an off campus pass should be seen as a privilege that only students meeting the criteria should be offered.

“I don’t think all juniors and seniors should be allowed to have an off-campus pass,” junior Daniel Hagele said. “I feel it’s something that has to be earned.”

Going off campus is an added responsibility for a student. Those that have had disciplinary issues in school have already demonstrated that they are unable to handle themselves in a classroom. Expecting them to control themselves in an open environment is an unrealistic expectation.

Also, students who’ve been known to ditch class or break rules should not be rewarded for such misbehavior.

“If they [off-campuses] are open to anyone, it might encourage people to do illicit activities off campus,” Hagele said.

The possibility of a Bear Creek student who has maybe had a history of fighting or unruly activity walking onto other campuses or causing trouble not only threatens the school but the individual themself.

Any property damaged by a student while under the school’s authority results in that school having to pay for the expenses needed to fix the damage. These can result in hefty costs and possible jail time for the student responsible.

Providing off-campuses for all 927 junior and senior students also poses a financial problem. Although the school receives boxes of 500 free cards through a contract with LifeTouch, other materials like ink still need to be purchased.

This year, a new card is provided to each student every quarter, meaning the school would have to provide around 3,708 cards for one full year.

Another downside to printing that many cards is the amount of time it takes. This year, it took around eight weeks for everything to be processed and ready for students to pick up their cards. Imagine how long it would take if Bear Creek were to create one for every junior and senior.

Once they’re processed, it also takes a long time for students to actually attain the cards because of the line of students trying to get their pass. Students already complain about not being able to go off campus until second semester because of the long wait, so adding even more students to the list of recipients would only further prolong the process.

As one can see, the downsides to allowing all juniors and seniors the opportunity to go off-campus at lunch are numerous. The pass is first and foremost a privilege for older students and should therefore be seen as such by the school.