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Open School Lunch Rule Is Old Indeed

December 23, 1990

I read with interest your article regarding the problem at Santa Monica High School during the lunch break (Times, Dec. 16). You mentioned that the "open lunch" policy is at least 30 years old.

I'll say it is. During my senior year, 1934, Louis Veenker ran for president of the Boys League on a campaign of doing away with the "bound rules," which prohibited leaving the campus during school hours. Louis' father was August Veenker, the boys vice principal.

Enforcing this rule was almost impossible. Among other things, Santa Monica Junior College (as it was then known) was across the street at 6th and Michigan, and many of our friends went there after graduating from Samohi.

One big difference between now and then was that in those days Samohi probably did not have more than 1,000 students, and nearly everyone brown-bagged it for lunch. Darn few ate in the cafeteria and there were no places around the school to eat. And in those days, who had the money to spend on lunch anyway?

ROY SEERY

Los Angeles

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