Students request open lunch
Baldwin High School students want the option of leaving school during their lunch hour.
Three BHS students presented a proposal to the Baldwin Board of Education Monday that would allow a 30-minute open lunch for freshmen through seniors on a trial basis during the fourth quarter of this school year.
Lesley Haeffner, Kara Tompkins and Jason Mock's presentation to the board outlined the reasons for wanting open lunch including expanded lunch options, the ability to run errands over the lunch period and the increase in student responsibility.
Their presentation also showed the student, faculty and restaurant support of the proposal, of which a majority were in favor as well as the approximate time needed to eat at each Baldwin restaurant, which ranged from 15 minutes to 40 minutes.
BHS Principal Allen Poplin said he was in favor of a trial open lunch during the fourth quarter.
"I believe the key to making it work is parent knowledge and permission," Poplin said.
Not only would students like the option of going home or eating at Baldwin restaurants for lunch, he said, they would also like the opportunity to run errands, like going to the bank, during that time.
"Sometimes we need to remember there are those things like that that students need to take care of as well," he said.
Board President Ed Schulte said he wasn't sure the period was long enough to allow for open lunch.
"That really concerns me," Schulte said. "Thirty minutes is not a lot of time to get somewhere, eat lunch and get back. I think those things such as safety and time, I think those issues are the real key."
Board member Alison Bauer suggested just opening lunch to juniors and seniors to cut down on the number of students leaving the school at one time.
Board member Lonnie Broers said he was concerned not everyone would be able to afford to eat out.
"I feel we need to make things as equitable throughout the school as possible," he said.
The students will continue to work on the open lunch proposal and the board will discuss it at a future meeting.
In other business, the school board:
- Heard a report from Supt. James White that the state is going to approve appropriations of more than $150,000 for the general fund and local option budget. Originally, the funds were going to be cut.
"Now we won't have to come up with those cuts for this year," White said.
- Received an update on a security system for BHS from White. He said the district is looking for a system with nine to 16 cameras. The security companies that have already visited the high school have given estimates for systems that range between $12,000 and $24,000.
White said the district will soon compile a security system package that will be sent out to companies for bids.
- Heard a report from White about the recent meeting between school, Baker University, business and city officials regarding concern about skateboarders and the damage they have caused around town, including at the newly renovated Collins Library.
He said there was discussion about a constructing a skateboard park.
"There seems to be a genuine interest there for those youngsters that are into skateboarding, but that may be causing damage around town," White said.
There will be further discussions regarding the skateboarding concern.
- Met in executive session for personnel, negotiations and attorney/client privilege. After executive session, the board approved the employment recommendation of Chad Glover as BHS assistant tennis coach.
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