School Policy Does Not Restrict Students To Campus

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Payson High School has no rules that require students to remain on campus through the school day.

Students can come and go as they wish and that has some parents concerned.

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Roy Sandoval

Parents raised the question after ninth grade and 10th grade students were involved in an off-campus stabbing incident Tuesday during a lunch period. Parents told the Roundup they thought freshmen students were required to stay on campus.

"Why were freshmen told they could leave the campus, when parents were told there was a school rule forbidding it? Why were parents not told their freshmen would be allowed to leave for lunch?" a parent asked.

Payson High School Principal, Roy Sandoval said that there is no official district or school policy which requires students to remain on school grounds during lunch periods.

"We tried having an advisory period for freshmen last year, but with the overlapping lunch periods, scheduling simply would not allow it," Sandoval said.

One of the main reasons is because the cafeteria simply is unable to house all the students who would be in the cafeteria during any given lunch period, because it is just too small, Sandoval said.

He said that trying to keep students at school during lunches would require fencing in the entire campus, which would cost in the neighborhood of $400,000.

"We would also have to rebuild and reorganize the parking lots, so there would be only one entrance and one exit in order to control who was leaving campus," he said.

"Right now there are exits everywhere."

Sandoval said that as long as a student remains on campus, the school can reasonably be expected to keep the student safe, but that once a student has left campus, the school can't be expected to accept responsibility for what takes place off of school grounds.

"If a parent wants their kids to stay on campus during lunch, they have to make that rule and reinforce it," he said.

A parent, who asked to remain anonymous, said that even though school administrators are not able to control who leaves campus, for many kids just having a rule would be enough to keep students on campus.

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