No more special deliveries; AHS clarifies language to keep students from ordering lunches

Published 11:01 am Monday, June 20, 2016

Austin High School students won’t be able to order freaky fast deliveries during school class hours next year.

Administrators changed policy language to clarify students are not allowed to order lunches from businesses that deliver after it became a distraction in recent years.

“It has became too hard to manage,” AHS Principal Katie Baskin said.

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In the past school years, students have called restaurants during class to order food to be delivered to the school for lunch.

The issue has grown more frequent as it’s become easier to order food through cellphone apps, texts, emails and other such technology.

“It is very easy to order food from your cell phone, from any other device that students may have, and that has become somewhat of a distraction for kids and teachers, and students wanting to leave classrooms to pickup Jimmy John’s,” Baskin told the school board last week.

AHS’s lunch rule is seniors are allowed to leave to pick up food or go home during their lunch period. Other grades must remain at the school and eat in the cafeteria, gym lobby or commons during the assigned lunch period.

The school never actually allowed students to order meals, but teachers noticed students asking to go to the bathroom when they were actually going to pick up an ordered lunch.

“Delivery hasn’t ever been open, we just never articulated it,” Baskin said.

When teachers wouldn’t allow students to leave class, the food deliverer would then wait in the office for several minutes. Along with students and teachers, this made for issues with the food companies too. Baskin found that when the students’ food was being dropped off, the deliverer would wait a long time for the student to pick it up and pay for the lunch.

“I’m not against receiving food, I just want to be respectful on both sides,” Baskin said.

To Baskin, it’s a matter of respect and focus. Administrators want students to be respectful of teachers, classmates and businesses, and they want students’ focus to be on their studies.

“Kids have a job to do, and that’s be in class,” Baskin said.

This policy won’t keep parents, family and friends from dropping off lunches to the students though.

“Parents and guardians can still bring food in, but we don’t want students to be ordering and having food delivered to the high school,” Baskin said.

Parents will be able to drop food at the office, but they don’t want parents calling kids out of classes.

Baskin noted school leaders are appreciative of local businesses and how they are supportive of the school and students, according to Baskin.

“We love our businesses and we love that they are so supportive of our school system,” Baskin said. “We just want to make sure that our kids aren’t leaving class to accept deliveries and they’re doing what they’re supposed to do, which is being in class first and doing what they need to do throughout the day.”

—Jason Schoonover contributed to this report.