Lunch in the courtyard


Both the east and west courtyards are locked. The only possible entry appears to be through the window. Freshman tour guides always said students could eat lunch in the courtyards, but can they really?

We walk into the office to ask for entry into the courtyard. Associate Principal Beth Gerhardt recommends calling the custodians. The secretary picks up the phone. A janitor comes and opens the east courtyard for us, joking that he thought we would be a bunch of ruffians.

Once we are in the courtyard, the question is, how do we get out and how do others get in. First we put a piece of paper in the door but we didn’t feel as if it was welcoming enough. Then a shoe and then finally a pot full of soil.

Students may have been dissuaded by the marijuana slide show playing outside the door. The back of the board seemed to laugh at us with its “LOL” written in bold Expo.

Eventually, a group of half a dozen boys acknowledges the two waving girls in the courtyard and come in with their lunches.

“Come on, look out here. It’ beautiful, it’s nice,” freshman Landon Duffy said.

“It always feels really nice in here,” junior Skyler Ward added.

Ward said he used to like to come into the courtyard before it was locked during lunch. He said if it were to be unlocked he would come in pretty much every day, including during harsh winters.

Sophomore Waylin Dowell said the courtyard was closed last year because people were making a mess.

“It was a really big letdown,” Dowell said.

“It’s the situation where some people mess it up and everybody gets punished,” Ward said. “What a few people do affects all the people in the school.”

Other than the boys eating there and the two reports the courtyard had a table, trees, picnic table, benches, a grill left from the senior campout last May and a crumpled piece of math homework.

After the B lunch bell sounds these boys will leave the courtyard. The courtyard locks automatically, it will take a proactive students to get back in. Duffy said it’s up to the students — not the teachers —  to take this stance.

“It just all leads to students,” Duffy said. “Maybe if they made good decisions the school would let us do more.”