South Jersey students ordering food to high school causing security issues, district says

There were 17 incidents on Monday where students needed to come outside to get their food, officials said.

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Tuesday, February 1, 2022
Students ordering food to school causing security issues: Officials
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The school district says there were 17 incidents Monday where a student would order food through an app like DoorDash and UberEats and drivers would show up to a side door of the high school.

WEST DEPTFORD TWP., New Jersey (WPVI) -- A South Jersey school district says food deliveries placed by students are resulting in security problems.

West Deptford School District's superintendent says students are ordering food through apps like DoorDash and UberEats and drivers are showing up to a side door of the high school.

There were 17 incidents on Monday where students needed to come outside to get their food, officials said.

"The issue is, it's school security," said Superintendent Greg Cappello. "We run a very secure school. We want to make sure doors that are locked remain locked through the school day so that nobody can get in there, and students aren't opening those doors for anyone."

Some high schoolers told Action News they know it's not the right way to do things.

"We shouldn't be letting them in through like side doors and things, but if the school allowed us to, it wouldn't be a problem," said freshman Sierra Kaloko.

"Maybe if the DoorDasher gives it to the office and then the kid can just come to the office to pick it up, maybe that will work?" said freshman Robert Carroll.

The district says that's exactly what's supposed to happen.

The school allows food deliveries as long as they come through the front office. The visitor policy also says "no visitor may confer with a student in school without the approval of the principal."

"We want everybody to be on the same page," said Cappello.

Neither DoorDash nor Uber Eats have specific policies about school deliveries, but both companies did specify customers must be 18 to make an order.

A DoorDash spokesperson said in a statement, "Safety is extremely important to us. Our terms of service require customers to be of legal age, and we're proud that many teachers, administrators, and parents can access DoorDash during the busy school day. We provide options for customers to note delivery instructions for their Dasher, and we enable no-contact delivery, in which deliveries are placed in an agreed upon location and communicated to the customer. We're always eager to hear ways we can improve our platform, and welcome feedback through our 24/7 Support team."

"You're putting extra stress on those teachers and staff who already have a lot going on given the current situation and climate," said parent Eric Romanoski.

Some parents in the community couldn't believe this is a problem in the first place.

"It's not a prank? They're actually ordering?" asked Lisa Romanoski.

The school district says it's reviewing its visitor policies after these incidents and will update them to include a specific section about food deliveries.