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The Perennial

The Perennial

The Perennial

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Pinewood Needs to Give High Schoolers More Freedom

Elizabeth Liang

   Imagine this: going out to lunch on a school day with your friends, whether it’s to a local Chipotle, Spot’s Pizza or even Boba Guys. I have always dreamed of such a day, having a fun outing for lunch with my friends every day during school. However, that dream cannot come true, as regulations at Pinewood prohibit students from leaving campus unless they’re seniors. As a sophomore, my friends and I sit on the Cue Quad walls daily, begrudgingly watching the lunch line trickle down as students walk up the hallways with their same lunches. 

   Giving students freedom in high school  is an important idea that Pinewood should value in their community. Giving students this privilege allows them to experience responsibility, enjoyment and being together as a community more often. Additionally, this can create meaningful experiences for high school students, as these are the most important years of their lives from a social and academic perspective. Whether it’s going out for lunch with friends, taking breaks during class or even being able to leave school during free periods, these are all possible ways for students to experience more freedom during their high school years. 

   Freshman Julian Ngai supports this idea, and even has his own suggestions for more freedom.

   “I think this question can go both ways, but I strongly believe we deserve this freedom, maybe even get some Doordash supplied by the school once a year for a fun event among everyone,” Ngai said.

   Of course, it’s important to acknowledge a potential challenge with this idea. It would require the collective responsibility of all students to maintain appropriate behavior in class. For instance, if lunch outings become too enjoyable and students start arriving late or disrupting class, the students are responsible. Teachers should retain the right to voice their concerns or objections to the idea, ensuring that the proposed freedom is balanced with the need for a conducive learning environment. 

   Mandarin teacher Heidi Wang understands the importance of freedom for high school students, but also recognizes the responsibility that comes with it. 

   “Responsibility and academic integrity come into play for this idea,” Wang said. “As a solution, I believe signing an agreement or contract with a teacher to ensure these behaviors can happen, which, if gone against, can lead to a consequence.” 

   A consequence could vary from being on lunch duty for a week to not being able to go out for lunch with friends. This can be a viable chance for the students to prove to the administrators that they are capable of such freedoms, which can ensure that they earn what they wish to do. Senior Sachi Urushima reflects on her junior year at Pinewood.

   “If I was able to go out during lunch or spend more time with my community and friends during junior year, more memories would last a lifetime for me,” Senior Sachi Urushima said.


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