Administrators at Semiahmoo Secondary have told students and food-delivery companies that meals can’t be delivered during class time or on school property. (Tracy Holmes photo)

South Surrey schools crack down on class-time food-delivery

District says disruption an ‘ongoing, growing and more wide-spread’ issue in south-end schools

Excessive use of online food-delivery apps by South Surrey high school students prompted administrators to prohibit the practice on school grounds and during class time.

But while the step isn’t exactly new, district officials say the need for it is somewhat unique to the Semiahmoo Peninsula.

“There has been the odd occasion over the years where a student has ordered a food delivery at a secondary school, but more recently, with online apps that open up options, some schools have seen such deliveries increase or become more regular,” district spokesman Doug Strachan told Peace Arch News Wednesday.

“A few other secondary schools I have asked say there were a few deliveries earlier in the year, but it appears the novelty wore off, and it didn’t become an issue they had to address. It’s possible other secondary schools have had the issue crop-up, but it appears only Semi and Elgin have had an ongoing, growing and more widespread issue that staff had to address in a more systemic way.”

Semiahmoo Secondary vice-principal Debbie Johnson said Wednesday that the reminder – which Strachan confirmed is not a district-wide policy – was most recently delivered to students in early October.

Johnson told PAN that students have been told they can’t leave class to meet a delivery driver for a pickup –but they haven’t been told they can’t use the apps, “as long as the food that they’re ordering arrives before school, or at lunch or after school, and isn’t delivered on school property.”

Apps such as SkipTheDishes, Uber Eats and DoorDash offer on-demand delivery from area restaurants – including Subway, Tim Hortons and Afghan Kitchen – through freelance drivers who receive a small fee per trip.

READ MORE: Tim Hortons tests food delivery in 3 cities; kids menu and loyalty program to come

The orders became an issue at Semi as office staff began to find themselves inundated with “bags and bags” of midday meals on a daily basis, Johnson said, estimating that at the beginning of the school year, there were up to a dozen deliveries a day.

“We were finding that lots of food-delivery companies were coming to the office, and so then it becomes sort of a logistical thing that now gets dumped on the office,” she said. “If the kids weren’t coming to pick it up, then it was sitting in the office.

“We said, we can’t have this happening.”

There is also a concern with having a flow of unknown adults through the school’s doors, she said.

Johnson noted the school does have a cafeteria that offers “lots of choice,” and acknowledged that as more and more apps are developed, students’ choices are expanding.

Choices, however, are not the problem, she said.

“We don’t have a problem with kids having choice. It’s about the disruption that it causes.

“The message is, we want kids in class.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cloverdale automobile shop offers to pick up, service, and drop off vehicles

Surrey’s Visscher-Pau Automotive starts ‘Blue Glove’ valet service — will cover Cloverdale, Langley, Newton, Fleetwood, and Hazelmere

White Rock brewery turns up the (alcohol by) volume in COVID-19 fight

3 Dogs Brewing is making hand sanitizer for frontline workers, general public

Surrey RCMP looking for ‘distraction theft’ suspect

Suspect allegedly tried to swipe a man’s necklace while giving him a hug

1,000 food hampers packed for delivery to students of Surrey’s inner-city schools

City Dream Centre-led initiative involved volunteer effort at Horizon Church in Newton

Surrey councillor wants property taxes deferred to December

Linda Annis is expected to present notice of motion to that effect at April 6 “virtual” council meeting

Here’s how to talk to people who aren’t taking physical distancing seriously

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

Fraser Valley auto sound business starts producing face shields

Certified Auto Sound & Security is doing what it can to help frontline healthcare workers.

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

Most Read