<CENTER><B>Letters to the Editor</B></CENTER>

Freedom teaches teens responsibility


The lunch bell rings and tons of excited teenagers go grab a quick bite before they have to go back to school.

Lunch hour is a time to take a break from the teachers and the work. We live in America, "the land of the free." And as Americans we should have the right to go off campus. An open campus teaches us respect for others and responsibility. If they take our open campus away, we won't be putting money back into the community.

Since I have arrived at Mingus, I have learned how to manage my time and money. The open campus teaches us about being on time for class and a lunch budget where some parents give their child so much money to manage for a week.

Mingus is helping our community by putting money in the stores such as Fry's or any other market when we buy lunch. We help not only the community, but also the owners of that store and the workers. But some people don't see that Mingus students are helping the community. Instead, they see us as pesky teenagers.

The community would suffer if Mingus closed its campus. Some students would buy their lunch but other students would bring a sack lunch. So actually Mingus wouldn't get that much money. Then some jobs would get cut because there's not that much flow of money.

I understand why some people would like to see our campus closed from the shoplifters and we may look scary with the clothes we wear or the way we talk and act. But once you get to know us you will see not all of us are bad.

Mingus isn't the only one with lunch hour problems. I have read about other schools that have the same problems that Mingus does. We may seem scary to some but all I am asking is to think back to when you were a teenager. Didn't you want your freedom?

Kyla Jane Rolfes

Mingus Union High School

Retain open campus at Mingus Union


Open or closed campus, why is it taking so long for the school board to decide? Being a student of the high school, I'm for having an open campus.

Going off campus allows us to take a breather away from school, and it allows us to finish or go get our homework for those who have a fourth-hour class. I also think going off campus should be a privilege, not a right.

Our 55-minute breather allows us to think of our personal lives, doing things for our parents that we didn't get to do that morning or the day before. This 55-minute breather also allows us to think of other things other than school and school work.

I understand why some people would like to see our campus closed because of what they see at the Fry's Shopping Center. The profanity and smoking is totally uncalled for. Those who race down the parking lot of the Fry's Shopping Center could cause an accident.

Because the shopping center is private property, it should hire a few police officers to watch over Wal-Mart, and all the buildings in the Fry's Center.

Students should have their 55 minutes of free time. I am for an open campus. In conclusion, I think that our community should re-think their judgment on open campus. Many of us don't act like total idiots at Fry's during lunch, and we should not all be judged because we are not all like that.

Megan Okamoto

Mingus Union High School

Lunch time a relief from school's mental vise


Have you ever been to the Fry's Shopping Center during lunch on, say, Tuesday or Wednesday?

It looks like a huge jumble of fleas jumping everywhere. There are cars speeding through the parking lot, kids on bikes and skateboards doing tricks off the speed bumps.

But this is only what most people want to see. Nobody ever seems to notice the kids that dig in their pockets for some cash to give to the charities soliciting outside of Fry's. They never acknowledge the fact that the Mingus students bring lots of money to the businesses. I hope that you and the rest of the community begin to notice the good things, and possibly even see that they far outshine the things that others are doing.

For a mere hour, the high school students are allowed to go off campus and eat lunch, chat with their friends, and escape the pressure of being locked up in school for most of the day. We need this time to relieve the stress being put on us day after day. If we have this freedom, it may help us do better in school because it gives us something to look forward to, to relieve our minds of the mental vise of school.

Going off campus teaches skills that are useful now, and in life after high school. Time management is one, because students have to be back on time, or face consequences. Money management is another, because students can't just go around spending freely or they might wind up with no lunch. Of course these are just two of the skills that can potentially be learned with off campus privileges.

I can see why most of the community would want the campus closed, because there are Mingus students that take this privilege and destroy it. They shoplift, destroy property, and they give a bad reputation to the Mingus students. But the thing people have to know is that this group is getting punished and there are far more good students than bad ones.

I want every one of you to look at this issue through my eyes. I want you to see how going off campus helps the community.

Andy Kovacovich

Mingus Union High School


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