Lunch lessons at Palisade High

Oh the horrors inflicted on students at Palisade High School!

The heavy-handed gendarmes at PHS have decreed that leaving the school grounds at lunch time is not an automatic right for students. They have actually required students to earn that privilege by maintaining relatively good grades and by not being tardy to classes.

Talk about your modern-day gulag.

We say that with tongue firmly planted in cheek, of course.

An open high school campus isn’t some inalienable right of students, and the administration at Palisade High has every reason to set standards for how and when upper-class members are allowed to leave campus.

What’s more, those standards, implemented at the beginning of the 2007-2008 school year, have been working well. They have substantially reduced class tardiness, encouraged many students to improve their grades and reduced the number of non-Palisade High students who show up on the school grounds.

Additionally, the school has established remedial classes for those students who are doing poorly academically and don’t have the badges that allow them to leave the school during lunch hours.

All of which makes the mini-revolt staged by a number of Palisade High students earlier this week rather — well — childish. The claims that the school is somehow invading students’ privacy or that the policy embarrasses students who don’t have the badges don’t hold much water. In fact, students ought to be embarrassed if they cannot maintain at least C grades.

Palisade High administrators were right to suspend the 30 or so students who refused to return to classes after their brief walk-out Wednesday. We hope the school holds the line on its policy, requiring students to earn the privilege to leave the campus.

And here’s some advice to the students who began a petition drive to overturn the policy, then participated in the walk-out: Invest that energy in improving your grades and making sure you are on time to classes, and you won’t have much trouble earning the privileges that you now seek to have given to you.


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