In response to the letter, “Paying customers get to stay and eat”: I’m a 9th grader at Everett High. Last year, I attended Evergreen Middle School. Almost twice a week, a couple of friends and I would head to McDonald’s after school and eat. The letter writer was concerned about age discrimination at McDonald’s and kids getting kicked out of the restaurants. I believe that this issue is not discrimination at all, but what needs to be done to ensure that McDonald’s is a nice environment for everyone.
When I was at Evergreen Middle School, the kids were freely allowed to enter, get food, and eat inside. But in February 2013, everything changed. Evergreen announced that anyone who went to McDonald’s after school had to be on their best behavior because it wasn’t a public hangout, but a private business and that everyone who went there and acted inappropriately was representing our school’s reputation. Students still continued to go. From 2 to 4 p.m. on weekdays, there would always be a worker outside the door to let students enter in an orderly manner. One day, I did decide to ask why they had made this change. The manager explained to me that the bathrooms were getting vandalized, the chairs were getting unscrewed, and people would just go in and loiter.
Once I knew the reason, I could totally understand. It’s a lot of money to replace tables and chairs and other vandalized items. I don’t think it is age discrimination, but a good way to make McDonalds’s a good, clean environment for all ages. Kids shouldn’t be allowed in if they’re not going to buy anything. But, as a kid, I do believe that if the kid has money, is being appropriate inside, and isn’t damaging anything, then they should be allowed to stay, because that is the right everyone else has. However, I have actually seen students vandalizing and being kicked out, I know that McDonald’s wouldn’t kick out anyone unless they were actually causing trouble.
Since there are two schools (Evergreen Middle School and Cascade High School) right across the street, this is probably the best way to solve the problem. They have found a good solution, and I agree with what they’ve done.
Students do have rights like everyone else in the community, but they also have responsibilities.