New rules


Tyler Berens

The view of main street at north right before lunch is released

Tyler Berens

A stampede of bodies ramming, pushing, and shoving, trying to get to the front of the pile up. During lunch on September 19, students at West Ottawa High School crowded the main hallway of the North building. A great migration of high school students. What could have caused such utter chaos? A fight? A celebration? 

   No, an instructor is restraining the masses. At the beginning of this year, the West Ottawa High School administration instituted a new regulation that required students to stay at the school of their previous class instead of moving to the other building for lunch.

   This rule came out of the blue, surprising many students who were used to changing buildings to eat where they want. “As long as we’re on campus, I don’t see what the big deal is,” Jr. Noah Carithers said. “And the fact that they’re just holding us in the building like cattle before we have to leave is just stupid.” Carithers’ thoughts and feelings are shared by many at West Ottawa.

   “If I already have class there, I might as well just go there, eat lunch, and then I can always ask my teacher if I have any questions,” Jr. William Niziolek said. Not only is this new rule angering people who want to enjoy the one part of the school where they can talk freely with their friends, but lunch is almost a second seminar and a chance for students to talk to their teachers. The new guidelines have had unintended effects on students.

   There must be a reason behind the new rules. Whether it’s to protect students or just because the school can’t keep up with the students who travel during lunch.“We have implemented this guideline to keep students accounted for and safe during lunches,” said Assistant Principal Jake Manning. The students’ safety is their number one priority and with students traveling in between buildings, some of whom stay out and about, the administrators have a tough time keeping track of students. 

   According to Manning, there are roughly 25% of the students in each building during lunch. With both A and B lunches, it is difficult to keep track of that many students, so that is why they decided to add this guideline to the school policy.

   The students’ opinion comes from the belief that they don’t need the guidelines while the administration’s job is to protect the students. The students want the freedom to move between buildings, while the administration’s priority is the students’ safety. In the end, it is always hard for students to accept and grow used to the new guidelines.