Jul 26, 2014
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POLL: Closed Campus Policy at Joel Barlow

Principal Tom McMorran sent out an email blast last week reminding parents that Joel Barlow High School is a closed campus, and students caught leaving might face repercussions.

POLL: Closed Campus Policy at Joel Barlow

Some high school students are old enough to vote in elections and die for their country. 

But per current policy, they're not allowed to leave campus during the school day without permission from the administration. 

In an email sent out to the Barlow community last week, reminded parents that they should talk to their kids in order to avoid any possible consequences resulting from violating this policy. 

"If your son or daughter is driving to Barlow, and has parking privileges, please be advised that students may not leave campus during the school day without express permission from the administration," McMorran wrote in the email. "If a student is found off campus, he or she might lose parking privileges without refund, and/or receive other disciplinary actions."

McMorran also said the high school administration is working with the Redding Police Department. Consequences of leaving campus could include tickets as well. 

"Cruisers might be posted on Turney Road, and tickets could be issued to students who are off campus without permission if students are exceeding the speed limit or transporting other students in violation of progressive driving license rules," McMorran wrote.

McMorran told Patch that Barlow has never had an open campus.

"Barlow has always had a closed campus. We will never have an open campus," he said. "That is simply too dangerous for the students and our community."

McMorran said the school deals with students who attempt to sneak off campus almost on a daily basis.

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"Students who are caught are generally trying to get back on campus," he said. "They receive a suitable consequence depending on a few factors. It could be loss of driving privileges for a set amount of time, or loss of their parking permit. without refund. Or they might be assigned community service."

At a Board of Education meeting last month in Ridgefield, . Ridgefield High School has had an open campus policy in the past, but currently it has the same closed-campus policy as Barlow.

Ridgefield High School Student Body President Allie Schiffer spoke to the Board of Education at that meeting. 

"We see this as an opportunity to encourage responsibility," Schiffer said, "not to encourage negative behavior."

The model proposed by Ridgefield students depended on a variety of factors including parental approval, a minimum GPA of 2.5, senior status and a minimum number of tardies and unexcused absences.

McMorran said Barlow is concerned with supervision of its students. 

"Our deep and abiding concern is to prevent students from heading to unsupervised homes during the day," he said. 

—Michael Gibney contributed to this story.

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