Lunches, Cell-Phones, Vending Machines… Oh My!

Margo Dulny and Kylie Graham


Olathe East incorporated several new policies this year, and with an incoming principal and multiple new faculty members, there was no way to avoid change.

New Principal Kerry Lane has been working in schools for a over 20 years, and she has a genuine insight of what she would like to see in schools.

“I spent 20 years at the middle school level and one year at high school. I taught freshmen in junior high school. I taught AP English at California Trail when it opened, and [I] taught at Santa Fe Trail middle school. I was [also] the assistant principal there, and then I was an assistant principal at Olathe North and the principal at Santa Fe Trail for nine years,” Lane said.


Lane feels very strongly about being strict with the usage of phones and wants to limit the use of them of the students throughout the day.

“I think there’s not a reason to have your phone out in class. We want you to be paying attention and being engaged in learning unless the teacher wants to use the phones for an instructional purpose,” Lane said.

She wants to encourage students to do activities without using their phones.

“I think we’re sending the wrong message if you’re in school and you’re on your phone the whole time. I think there’s other things you could be doing with your brain than to be checking whatever it is on your phone. I just want to promote talking to people face to face and engaging in a discussion,” Lane said.

Lane wants to limit students to use their phones during class periods, but she does not want to cut phone usage for the students completely.

“If you have to get on [to] check the news, [or] get on snapchat, do it at lunch or in between classes, which is to me is a lot [more flexible] than what they had in middle school, where they didn’t let you use them at all,” Lane said.

Students are generally against a stricter phone policy.

“I think if a kid is using their phone then it’s their fault for getting a bad grade for not paying attention,” a student said.

The administration justified new food delivery change because students would often forget to pick up the food they ordered or would not be able to get the food right away from the office.

“Everyone was bringing their Jimmy Johns, pizza, McDonalds, and Chinese. It was causing us to send passes, to have kids come and get it. It was taking them out of class earlier, and it just became a food delivery service,” Lane said.


“We still want to encourage it, what we’re asking is that parents will stay with the food and hand it off to the kid versus just dropping it off and having us deal with the delivery,” Lane said.

However one student said, “sometimes parents can’t wait around.”

Another student took the opposite side and said,“It is right in a way because the school isn’t responsible for taking care of food deliveries.”

Students would like to see changes in the school vending machines. Complaints have been reported such as stolen money, warm drinks  and not enough variety.

Some students have wanted to go out and get their food during lunch, but the issue extends more than letting students just leave.

“If we allowed it, it would have to [be allowed] for all four, soon five high schools. It would be something that not just Olathe East would just do,” Lane said.

Most of the problems would disrupt or make it hard to work with the school schedule and there are also safety issues.


“By the time you get to the parking lot and get your fast food and get back, it’s going to be a really hard process to get back to class in time. [Also], your parents are entrusting us with your safety during the school day. And if something were to happen to you outside, either you caused a wreck or were hurt I don’t know what the school’s liability would be,” Lane said.

Lane encourages students to not show up at school before 7:30 or staying after school after 3:30 if there is not reason to be here.

“Before 7:30 or after 3:30 people were just hanging here and doing nothing, and if you’re going to hang out, why would you hang out at school and there’s also no supervision.”

Lane would like to see other changes but not just with policies and rules.

“Here’s an example: last night at parent night I was in the office because we don’t have bells. I’m like ‘why am I stuck here in the office? I want to be out talking to the parents. Also, the first day of school I was wondering’ what if we could help the freshmen. They might want to go to some of their classes during the day.’ Even if it was like a quick 5 to 6 minutes in their class,” Lane said.

Lane said she would be open hearing what the students want to see change and things they want to happen at the school in the future.

Margo Dulny // Staff Writer

Kylie Graham // Staff Writer