Metea Valley is requiring students to sit in the commons during lunch despite safety concerns 


Aiden Spenner

Students are seen eating lunch in the newly arranged commons.

For the first semester and some of the second, students were allowed to eat anywhere at Metea Valley. This included the commons, locker banks upstairs and downstairs, library, and the auditorium hallway. But recently, Metea made the decision to limit students to sit in the commons during lunch. 

In a way, this decision does make sense when it comes to the locker banks. Some students mistreated the locker banks, so it is understandable why sitting there is no longer an option. However, it is still odd that the other options like the auditorium hallway and library are not available. The Metea Valley administration always preaches about wanting to keep us safe and for students to follow the COVID-19 guidelines, yet they cram students together.

“You do not know if somebody could have COVID or not because it is so easy for somebody to hide their symptoms,” senior Justyce King said. “I could be [positive] and I am sitting next to a whole bunch of random people because there is no space for me to get a table with just my friends.”

An interesting discussion that has been brought up is about students who have anxiety or that are neurodivergent and may experience overstimulating having to eat in more crowded spaces. While this pandemic has changed the learning environment, it has also brought some benefits, such as students can eat in a less overwhelming area. 

“I think taking away the auditorium space was a strange decision and one that made it very difficult for a lot of people who are the people who find it difficult to eat around others,” senior Lexi Fichtel said. “People who have hearing sensitivities, people who  do not want to be squashed on so many people.” If students have concerns about the school then they should be listened to, especially if they feel like they are being put at risk.

“The Commons is so loud, and there is so much going on that is very overstimulating for a lot of people.” senior Jay Kim said. 

This staff claims to care about the safety of its students, and that does not just mean protecting us from COVID-19, which they appear to be lacking in, but also the mental health of students during these difficult times.