COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) – Multiple businesses in downtown Colorado Springs have implemented new policies to address nearby high school students during the work week’s lunch rush.
Solar Roast Coffee, Everest Tibet Imports, Escape Velocity Comic Books, and Graphic Novels on E Bijou St. have policies in place limiting the number of high school students allowed inside at one time.
While many businesses have these policies to address capacity concerns, Solar Roast Coffee said their policy comes after they experienced “serious disruptions” from students.
“I think it’s not the students that come in and pay and purchase something and want to sit during their lunch. It’s the ones that use us as a cafeteria,” Cunningham explained.
Solar Roast Coffee says they’ve limited the number of high school students allowed inside to ten.
Palmer High School is just blocks away from the coffee shop and everyone from grades 9-12 takes lunch at the same time every day. That schedule accounts for the hundreds of students that flock into downtown during the school year.
“We’re trying to be considerate of them as well,” Cunningham said. “I know it’s it’s nice to have an off-campus lunch.”
Cunningham also said that the problem tends to get worse during the school year and that while they’ve seen improvement, it won’t change the way they’re dealing with the ongoing problem.
District 11 is eager to hear from these business owners to open up a conversation about what they think is a much bigger issue.
“I wouldn’t limit it to just Palmer High School students. We also have another high school here in the downtown area. So what I would say is this is an opportunity to have a larger conversation with the small businesses, with Palmer staff, and with the district staff to open the conversation,” District 11 Chief Communications Officer Devra Ashby said.
Ashby urged businesses to contact the district with complaints to open up more conversations about how to mitigate these behaviors and work with the kids to keep them learning.
“It’s a great opportunity to educate kids on how small businesses are structured and the operating expenses and ways that we can help generate revenue for these businesses,” District 11 Chief Communications Officer Devra Ashby said.