By Keana Hilario ’20
Disclaimer: This article intends to inspire dialogue among students and the administration about the issue. It is in no way a defamation of the school.
Minutes before the recent play preview, pictures of the courtyard were projected onto the lower media’s projector screen. First, there was laughter among the juniors and seniors and the teachers while images of leftover food, random snack wrappers, and even an Economics textbook were shown. However, the laughter faded as pictures of bags were exhibited and called “trash.” Suddenly, there was an uproar of student discussion and angry voices. Students were displeased with the thought of having to carry their lunchboxes everywhere and the thought of detention if a bag was confiscated by an official. It has inspired many discussions in and out of the classroom. Here are some student voices on the issue.
Question: What do you think of the “lunchbox” controversy? Did the administration treat the situation fairly? If so, why? What should the administration do?
Sabrina Kim ’20
“I think the administration did what they thought was best, however, I think their “solution” to the trash problem was unfair. I think that they should have at least consulted with the student body to come up with a better solution that directly affects [us]. Because the problem is the visual messiness of the campus, some solutions could be putting the lunch boxes underneath the tables or to line up the lunchboxes in a neat manner. Lining up the lunchboxes neatly on the tables would help make the lunch tables look more organized and may even look more impressive to prospective parents on tours.
This “lunchbox” controversy brings up other concerns about how the administration deals with the school’s problems. For example, I have no idea how to submit a formal grievance to the school. Although ASB does do a lot of work, their job is to be the link between the students and the administration [but] I feel as though they are more like a planning team for the school.
I understand that the administration has the students’ best interests in mind. However, currently, they are just telling us what they came up with as a solution which has caused an uproar in the student body. I think that in order to reduce the number of complaints the administration should include the students in conversations in which we can compromise to come up with better solutions to problems.”
Margaret dela Pena ’23
“In my opinion, I think taking away our lunchboxes is a good idea, but only so that we can learn our lesson. It was a little unfair how abrupt they took our belongings without a warning. Examples could be like an email or several announcements so we are fully aware of it. I found out about the situation through students, not by the faculty. It is our belongings and we have full rights about it after all. Overall, I believe it is a good idea to take the bags so that the school would look cleaner, but all students should be aware of it before the situation occurs.”
Tia Hoang ’22
“I have no issues with the new lunchbox and bag policy personally, but I do understand why other students are upset with it. For them, it is easier to leave their bags outside where they sit because they can just go to lunch right after activity, they do not have to carry it, and many other reasons. I feel that the school gave us conflicting messages. I remember in my freshman year, 2018-2019, that students were not allowed to leave their lunches in their lockers because ants would enter the building and lockers, so students left their bags out instead. Some backpacks do not have a place for lunch boxes to be clipped on to as well, so it becomes annoying to hold onto them along with textbooks and binders.
I know that students forget or lose items and I do not believe that they should be punished for that. I am not sure what the administration should do, but I also feel that they will continue the policy as they have already issued out the special tags for the athletes’ bags and have teachers patrolling.”
Graphic from Pinterest