Here at PHS, we have “unconditional” open campus which means students can go off campus for lunch even if they are failing. This is one of the many things that sets Poteau High School apart from other high schools that have open campus lunches.


Lakota Bohanan

McDonald’s is a top choice for students like Madison Adams, junior.

Most of the open campus schools that are in the United States are “conditional” lunches. Conditional lunches means if a student has behavioral issues, is failing, or has any other academic related problems, those students will not be able to attend lunch off campus. This open campus policy is meant to help students become more motivated and strive to do better in school. This study has shown to be effective according to Improving Academic Performance Through Conditional Benefits, studied by Shirlee Lichtman-Sadot. 

Pro: Responsibility could be one of the key things that open campus is teaching high school students. The students at PHS get around 45 minutes to eat their lunch wherever they choose. Keeping track of their time will help them grow into a more responsible teen as they start to become old enough to go to work, school, etc. on their own. 

Con: Tardiness, students being late to class and not being able to keep track of time may also be a concern for teachers and parents while the child is off campus. 

Should PHS have an open campus lunch?

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Pro: Open campus lunch can also be used to take a break from the stress of the school day. With school, homework, and jobs, teens hardly take a break during their high school years. The open campus lunch period helps students take away some of the stress from the day and take a break to eat lunch with some friends or alone if you’d prefer.

Con: It exposes teens to making the wrong choices. While open campus can teach students responsibility, not all teenagers will make the right choices. Some students may choose to skip classes since they are already outside of school. Others might be tempted to partake in illegal activities such as drugs. These are some things to think about. 

Pro: Money management, open campus can also teach teens how to budget, by students going outside of school with a limited amount of money rather than charging a meal at school. 

Con: Some parents or even students may say open campus is dangerous; there is a risk of students being hit by a vehicle while crossing the street. 

“I think open campus is fine,” said English teacher Jennifer Brooks.  “It gives students an opportunity to take a break from school, let off a little steam and spend some time with their peers.” 

Students agree with Mrs. Brooks.

“I think it is beneficial and gives students a break from feeling trapped in these walls,” said Delesia Brown, a junior at PHS. 

All in all students and teachers here at PHS enjoy the open campus lunch. Just remember to stay safe and be responsible.