Closed campus good for VCHS

Many of us have been driving in the area of Vandalia Community High School during lunchtime when several students, without looking for incoming traffic, cross the street right in front of us.

That may seem like just an inconvenience, but what happens if one of those students gets hits by a motorist. The school district, because it allows those students to leave the school grounds for lunch, would likely face a lawsuit.

Thats just one of the issues that arises out of an open campus at VCHS. Others include some of those students not returning to class after lunch or disrupting class because they had left the school grounds to be involved in some type of illegal drug activity.

The Vandalia Board of Education voted Tuesday night to eliminate those potentially dangerous and disruptive situations by closing the VCHS campus beginning next fall. We support that vote.

Before moving to close the campus, the board last Monday held an open roundtable meeting to get a sense of the public’s feelings on the issue.

Only one opponent spoke asserting that the measure ‘infringes on students rights.’

District officials maintained that closing the campus will help to ensure students’ safety and enhance the learning atmosphere. We agree.

The idea of closing the campus did not come up overnight. Its been kicked around for about two decades.

Most area school districts already have gone to a closed campus. In fact, Well pointed out, the Vandalia district is the only one within Bond, Fayette and Effingham counties that allows its students to leave the campus during the school day.

I think theres some meat to the fact that were the only district that allows an open campus theres a reason for that, Well said.

By passing the policy now, school officials have time to adjust the schedule before students begin signing up for fall classes. Some staffing changes will be required to supervise the increased number of students that will be in the building during the noon hour. And some changes will be needed in the lunchroom procedures.

But the overall impact of the change will be a positive thing for the educational process.


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