By Maya SpitzerÂ Â
The privilege of going off campus during free periods is only open to seniors, but some sophomores and juniors make clandestine exits from campus during the school day. Director of Inter-Campus Security Kevin Giberson said this breach ofÂ school rules is an ongoing issue. âIt ebbs and flows, and right now itâs flowing,â Giberson said.Upper School Attendance Coordinator, J. Gabriel Preciado, has in past years intermittently patrolled the Harvard-Westlake Driveway (the north entrance). âIâm pretty tied up and checked more in the past few years,â Preciado said. âIâm going to have to find a way to do random checks, in response to the increase in reports of underclassmen abusing a senior-only privilege.âPreciado said he was dismayed because for the first time in his time at the school, he âheard of sophomores going off campus.âÂ Giberson asserted that ditching school is not only against school rules butÂ also compromises the safety of students who leave and are unaccounted for if an emergency occurs. Preciado said most juniors and sophomores who leave campus during the school day go to eat at restaurants on Ventura Boulevard, but both Preciado and Giberson confirmed that students have been found off campus smoking cigarettes. Giberson elaborated that âwe receive calls from the neighbors of the school about kids smoking and descriptions of their cars, but we havenât caught anyone twice.âGiberson and Preciado work jointly to prevent such offenses. Being caught sneaking off campus can result in calls to parents, detention, retraction of early departure privileges for juniors or in extreme cases, rejection of a future school parking permit. âWe work on the honor system,â Preciado said. âThe vast majority of students are honest, and we donât want to be like a border checkpoint.â âWe like to give kids the opportunity to change, and repeat offenders are few and far between,â Giberson said.In recent weeks security measures have been tightened, and Giberson is currently working on âironing out problemsâ with lax security guards, charging them to be âmore proactive and do more checkingâ of who is leaving campus. He contended that if sneaking off campus continues to be an issue, other measures will be taken to prevent ditching, such as using the security cameras to monitor which students are leaving campus. However, Giberson doesnât believe that this issue will escalate or is a real problem as of now.Â âA lot of kids brag about things they arenât doing,â he said. Preciadoâs main concern, aside from maintaining the authority of the school and safety of the students, is defending the privilege of going off campus. âWhat bothers me,â he said, âis that seniors donât get proper respect.â Juniors and sophomores leaving campus during the school day âdevalues senior privilege,â Preciado said.