NEWS: Reports of Vandalism of Local Businesses

An increase in vandalism could cause problems for open lunch and students


Keat Hockenbury

With the option of an open lunch many students choose to visit surrounding establishments. Neighboring businesses have expressed concerns about shoplifting, fighting, vandalism and drug use.

Tommy Taylor

During every lunch period, a number of students leave the school and get lunch and return without issue. However, administration has reported that students have caused harm to surrounding businesses during open lunch.

“We’ve had calls from Sprouts, Walmart, Taco Bell and Starbucks,” Principal Amy McAnarney said.  “Sometimes the businesses will call the police patrol, so there are multiple ways that we found out.”

The staff of these businesses have to clean up the messes caused by this behavior, but also make sure these students aren’t damaging other customers’ property. 

“I catch kids trying to throw carts at cars,” Sprouts Head Cashier Desiree Duran said. “Stealing has been one of the big issues.”

These events have caused general disarray within the store’s management, leading to more labor to remedy the situation.

“It’s a big issue because inventory has been affected,” Duran said. “Now our management has to take time out of their schedule to be up here, making sure that kids aren’t stealing.”

When going to sprouts, students are expected to follow the rules and avoid causing chaos. “On Wednesdays we have sushi day,” head cashier Desiree Duran said. “So it could be like up to 75 [students] or a little bit more.” (Keat Hockenbury)
Not only does the behavior of these students lead to repercussions at school, but it also puts them at risk of legal action. Students are not afforded the same leniency as they are on campus. 

“You’re not as protected as you are on campus,” School Resource Officer Kacey Wiltz said. “You can face criminal charges such as theft, criminal damage or possession of whatever you’re smoking. There are no rules,”This behavior has opened conversations among administration about open lunch policies. If the behavior continues at its current rate, administration has discussed closing campus for lunch.

“It always could be a possibility,” Mcanarney said. “I hope that students understand these concerns and change their behavior when they go out for lunch so we continue to have [open lunches].”