Established by Immanuel Lutheran Church, the coffee shop Thr3e provides the ultimate temptation for hungry high school students. Unfortunately the across-the-street position of this shop makes it inaccessible to students on the basis of the on-campus rule.
From the time the first period bell rings at 7:55 a.m. to the end of the day at 2:25 p.m. students who are at school are obligated to remain there.
Security Guard Jim Jenkins comments on the ongoing issue of students abandoning campus mid-day.
“The parents or guardians of students expect them to be in school,” Jenkins said. “When students leave then they do not know where their kids are.”
What may seem prejudiced or unnecessary to students is actually the administration upholding the parent-school contract that kids will be kept as safe as possible while receiving an education.
Principal Eric Fredericks explains why it is for the benefit of not only students but neighbors of PHS to keep the campus closed.
“There are safety issues related to it,” Fredericks said. “There are accidents out here [the front of the school]. We have people who fly through here and I would hate for a student at any point to get hurt coming and going from Thr3e.”
However, opening up the campus so Thr3e is available to students throughout the day is an attractive idea that would provide many benefits, including the satisfaction of a snack.
Manager of Thr3e, Amy Carlson, supports the idea of opening up the campus to allow student visitation during lunch hours specifically.
“I think the administration could think about opening up the campus during lunch and possibly have a teacher or security guard stand watch to make sure kids go back over after lunch. I also think that may stop kids going coming over throughout the day and skipping class,” Carlson said.
To many students the prospect of a pizza bagel or coffee pick-me-up is ideal any time of the day. Carlson believes that relaxing the rules exclusively for lunch hours has the potential to calm the temptation and keep kids in class. Security guard Jenkins disagrees.
“It would only lead to more mess and destruction, and to an extent, being bad neighbors to the members of the community,” Jenkins said.
As a school positioned in a downtown community the responsibility to be “good neighbors” is a continuous concern for the administration.
“Once you start opening the campus up to Thr3e, where do you stop,” Eric Fredericks said. “And how do you justify stopping it?”
Driving down to Taco Bell for a Baja Blast on a sunny day would, in theory, seem like a good idea. However speeding back in order to beat the bell puts yourself, your passengers and other drivers at risk.
Contrary to popular belief the administration is not forbidding the walk across a road to deny the student body the pleasure of an iced grande carmel macchiato before fourth period.
“It is a community partner. It is right across the street and affiliated with a church that we have a relationship with. To that end I do not mind supporting that business,” Fredericks said.