by Alexis Moreno, Staff Writer

Loitering is being somewhere with no purpose that could possibly warrant alarm, or concern. To private property owners, loitering causes justifiable fear when a trespasser on their property has no reason being there.

The McEachern High School student handbook states that by 4 p.m., students should be off campus unless a student has a school-related function on private property, like a field trip or club meeting. Neither students nor outsiders are allowed on campus unless they’re supervised by a teacher or administrator.

“We are in charge of making sure that everyone on this campus is safe, and once the teachers and administrators go home,” assistant principle Christi Osborne said. “There’re so many places on this campus that students can be and we can’t guarantee their safety.”

Students are corralled into the performing arts center (PAC) parking lot after 4 p.m. to wait for a ride home. Administrators and campus officers do their best to get all students off campus before they leave, which according to Officer Ronnie Simons, is around 6 p.m.

“Sometimes, there’s a club or practice that happens at school after 4 p.m,” senior Stephen Thelusme said. “When I don’t have a ride to home and back to school for my practice, I’m forced to loiter in the PAC parking lot. I think there should be a place that you can stay other than the parking lot.”

Though the student’s safety is most important in administrators’ and teachers’ eyes, defiling the property is also a problem. McEachern’s time restraints are in place not only to protect students, but also to protect the campus from spray paint cans and toilet paper pranks.

Most students just want to go home after school, but some make the choice of planning to fight on campus. However, with a nine-day out-of-school suspension and misdemeanor charges for trespassing, most students choose not to.

“After school is usually when most of the trouble starts, that’s usually when someone wants to fight someone,” officer Ronnie Simons said.

In effort to curb the loitering issue, there could be more teachers or officers staying after school to make sure the campus wasn’t getting tarnished in any way, and students were safe. Having around the clock supervision of the school and students on the campus, there would be no reason to force students to the PAC parking lot.