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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Off-Campus Lunch Ban Would've Averted Death

May 18, 2003

Re "Collision Kills Tesoro High Sophomore," April 8:

My heart goes out to the parents of Corey Bailey and Haley Hause. They were innocent eager teenagers who made what turned out to be a fatal decision for one, and a very painful reality for the other.

This incident confirmed my opinion that high schools should, as Tesoro does, restrict off-campus lunches for students. Schools that allow off-campus lunches create a dangerous environment for students allowing a chaotic rush to get off and return in the time allotted for lunch.

In addition, students learning to drive are both inexperienced and vulnerable to the ways of the road and faced with many risky distractions. Cell phone usage, social distractions, on top of the excitability of their newfound independence all contribute to an increased level of risk.

We, as parents and educators together, should decide what is "best" for our teenagers. Allowing new drivers the freedom to run off at lunch is a risk the teenagers themselves cannot yet comprehend, but we as parents and educators should step up and take responsibility to overrule popular teenage opinion.

Kara Frazier

Trabuco Canyon

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