There are two sides to every issue, and when it comes to the Dover Area School District's decision to eliminate parents' lunch visits at its elementary schools, we can see both.

The visits were cut temporarily after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, when many schools across the country were reviewing their safety procedures.

However, district officials recently made the ban permanent, and that didn't go over well with some parents who apparently enjoyed joining their children for an occasional lunch at school.

Leib Elementary School Principal Troy Weistling said the decision, similar to one taken at Central York, increases student safety because it cuts down on adults roaming the halls.

While we think parents ought to be able to eat lunch with their children if they wish, these are the unfortunate times we live in.

School officials have hundreds of children in their care, and they have to be careful about who they let in their buildings -- even if that person is a parent.

That's understandably disappointing to some, but keep in mind parents do still have the option of taking their children out of school for lunch dates.

But Dover's new policy begins to look silly when it's applied to school volunteers, who've already had background checks and received clearances from the FBI and police to be on school property.

And that's where some school board members, who said they weren't aware of the new policy, took issue with it.


"They are volunteering their valuable time," board member Rob McIlvaine Jr. said at a recent meeting. "I think (they) should be able to go through the gosh darn cafeteria line."

Board president Bryan Rehm, who supports the ban for all parents, said allowing volunteers to have lunch in schools creates a "two-class" system.

Yet even if that's the case ... so what?

This is supposed to be about safety.

And if that's the case, it makes no sense adults deemed safe enough to work with students throughout the day suddenly become a risk in the cafeteria with their own sons or daughters.

Weistling acknowledged the issue of volunteers wasn't thoroughly considered, and he was directed to meet with the safety and security committee to see if any changes should be made to the policy.

One seems obvious to us:

If you're a volunteer with security clearance, grab a tray.