DPHS sophomore takes lunch time issue to school board

Julia Broadrick and Abby Lamine

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Trinity Raymond, a sophomore at De Pere High School, proposed to the school board on Nov. 19 that all freshmen through seniors have the opportunity to leave school during lunch hours.

Currently, only the seniors can leave during lunch. Raymond spoke to the board for about 15 minutes, presenting her ideas about how to change the present regulations.

As an example, Raymond wanted change because of her older sisters’ complaints about being forced to stay at school. Additionally, she mentioned problems with crowding in the lunchroom as DPHS moved from three lunches to two.

“It has been extremely stressful for shy students and those who simply want a bit of space to eat and decompress between classes,” she said.

Raymond started her research as a freshman, gathering 186 signatures for a petition that said they wanted off campus lunch. She presented that petition to the board members on Monday.

In addition Raymond spoke with Jeffrey Van Lannen the associate Principal at Green Bay Southwest HS, which has open lunch for all grades. He said approximately one-third of the students leave each lunch period. In relation to the number of students leaving, Raymond asked about problems in the parking lot congestion and Mr Van Lennen said that wasn’t a problem.  Another issue Southwest does not have a problem with is truancy.

Raymond noted that we do have a different lunch set up at De Pere.

“The vast majority of the students are not tardy to school,” she said. “We are responsible and have strong attendance. Students know how much time it takes to drive and to eat.”

Raymond also talked to local businesses such as Uncle Mike’s, Subway, and Little Caesars, and they were all in favor of having more students come to their stores.

“The truth is that unless you give us students the responsibility and opportunity to impress and show you this is a viable option, the situation at De Pere High School will not change,” she said.

When Raymond finished speaking the board thanked her for bringing forth her ideas. Board policy requires the board not to immediately discuss issues brought forth.

After the meeting finished, board member Dan Van Straten said the board would think about it and it would be discussed at a future meeting. He also said this is the first time open campus issues has been brought up and he wishes more students would come to the board with their suggestions.

“It shows you guys care,” he said. “It’s your school.”