Why, Wilson?

Anna Arnsberger

The sun shines and birds chirp as you take a bite of your peanut butter and jelly sandwich, listening intently to your friend’s story about math class this morning. But before they can finish, they’re interrupted by the harsh blare of a siren. You look down at your half-finished lunch and then at your watch. Class doesn’t start for another 15 minutes. “You there, by the scoreboard!” Coach Mark stares straight at your friends. Taking that personalized warning as a cue to get up, you begrudgingly drift towards the entrance of the school, and wonder: why, Wilson?

According to 12th Grade Dean Mark Martin, the administrator in charge of stadium coverage, he tries to call everyone in five minutes before the first bell, which rings eight minutes before class. “Sometimes we have a big crowd out here, a large amount of kids, and it takes a while to get everybody in,” he said. But that big crowd moves remarkably fast. “[It] probably takes us two or three minutes to get them in,” said Martin.

This procedure leaves much to be answered. Isn’t the purpose of the first bell to signal the end of STEP and remind students to start leaving? Why are they expected to be ready for class two minutes before then? Is it not sufficient to play the end-of-lunch siren at the same time as the end-of-lunch bell?

With an extra 10 minutes before teachers are even ready for class, those who ate lunch outside are forced to kill time by wandering around the building, clogging up hallways, and doing absolutely no one any favors.

Students who spend their break in the atrium or another classroom are graced with five extra minutes of STEP and still make it to class on time. Those who eat outside don’t receive those few precious minutes of freedom, but are rudely reminded to get back to class considerably sooner than anyone else in the school.

All we ask is why this dichotomy between indoor and outdoor diners exists. Why is there such inequality towards those who choose to spend STEP in the fresh air over those who don’t mind the atrium’s stuffy atmosphere? Why are hardworking students unreasonably being robbed of their well-deserved lunch breaks? Why, Wilson?