Wilson bans food from Tenley eateries

Max Karp and Nate Belman

Wilson administration reintroduced a policy in which students are not allowed to bring food from outside establishments into the school. Security officers started to enforce the policy strictly amid growing trash concerns and an intensifying rodent problem in the school. Administration noted that the policy is tentative and can be eased if students reduce littering.

Assistant Principal Gregory Bargeman said that the policy had always been there, but that it is now being enforced because of a number of food-related issues in the school. “It’s a policy we had before and we’re sort of making sure that we’re enforcing the policy [now],” Bargeman said. Posters were hung around the school in different hallways, notifying students of the change.

“We’re [enforcing the policy] for multiple reasons,” Bargeman said. “We do have a rodent problem in the building, and we need to make sure that we aren’t feeding the rodents.” Bargeman added that students leaving their trash from lunch in the atrium contributed to the renewed enforcement of the policy. He also clarified that food brought from home would not be taken as a part of the new policy.

Bargeman remarked that the issue stemmed from students taking advantage of having off campus lunch in order to bring food back into the school. “A lot of the time, we have students going off campus to get food to bring back to their friends,” Bargeman said. “When we first started the off campus lunch policy it was only for students that were making honor roll. And so we had that in place, that policy of not bringing any food in. We kind of [became] relaxed on it and so we’re just going back to where we were before.”

Principal Kimberly Martin noted that the trash left on the ground in the school had a large influence on the reintroduction of the policy. “[We’re] trying to reduce the amount of trash that’s found around the building…and a great deal of that trash was from outside of the school,” Martin said.

Martin added that another focus of the policy is to take food that appears to be intended for distribution. “[We take items] that look like they’re packaged to distribute.” 

In addition to food from Tenley establishments, home-baked goods are also barred from entry under the new guidelines of the policy. “[We had] students bringing in baked goods that could have unknown substances in them,” Martin said.

Students are not all on board with the new rule. “I think it’s a poor policy,” senior Asher Friedman-Rosen said. “I don’t think the problem is people bringing food from outside of school. I think more so the problem is the availability of trash cans, how frequently they’re taken out and where they are. It’s more of an infrastructural issue.”

Bargeman added that the policy is subject to change as far as enforcement goes. “The policy could become more relaxed,” Bargeman said. “But right now we’re trying to make sure that we’re enforcing it so that we can deal with a lot of the problems [we have] in the building.”