MISD Committee Says Open Campus During Lunch Causes Trouble 12/13/12
CBS 7 Reporter
December 13, 2012
Midland, TX -Midland and Odessa students have the freedom to leave school grounds during the lunch period.
But now a group of school employees, parents and board members say that needs to change.
The Midland ISD Student Health Advisory Committee met this week and their discussion revolved around alcohol and drug abuse in the school district, something they believe is prevalent during the student's unsupervised lunch period.
"I preach this everywhere I go, everyone I talk to I say 'we need to close the campuses,'" says Chad Small with the Palmer Drug Abuse Program.
Small works with students battling an alcohol or drug addition on a daily basis.
"Easily 75%, if not more, of the kids who relapse, relapse at lunch,” he claims. "Parents aren't home, they have absolutely no supervision. I mean, they get high before school and it's wearing off about lunch."
But the school district says a closed campus isn't really an option at this point.
“I am appreciative to SHAC for even thinking along those lines and I will be meeting with the group to discuss this issue, but operationally the district can't make it work. There just isn't enough room in the cafeterias," Superintendent Dr. Ryder Warren told us by phone.
Either way, PDAP and the SHAC committee say parents need to be aware of the problem.
"Just pay attention to your kids behavior, mind how much they have in their wallet. You know, $5 is missing here, $10 missing here...that's probably where it's going to," Small says. "It's not just the drugs, if the kids are into sex, if they're into violence, if they're into shoplifting; whatever negative behavior they're into it's happening at lunch because they're free to do whatever they want."
So whether kids are using their time to grab a quick bite or to do something else, Small says it's not worth the risk.
SHAC members say the reason this proposal has been shot down in the past is because many fear that surrounding businesses and restaurants would suffer if students aren’t going there for lunch.