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)

B.C. school cracks down on class-time orders to Uber Eats, SkipTheDishes

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

Excessive use of online food-delivery apps by students at a Surrey high school has prompted administrators to ban ordering food 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 in South Surrey.

“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.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

COVID-19: North Islanders bang pots and pans to honour essential workers

‘Hopefully we can keep it going for them because these people are showing up at work every day for us’

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: Juvenile eagle

‘I was able to drive up close to it and get a few pictures without getting out of the truck’

Port Hardy Secondary School’s 2019-2020 wrestling season

Both Lamothe and Speck thanked Cleary for volunteering his time to sponsor the program.

First government licensed cannabis shop on Vancouver Island celebrates one year in business

‘I’m really happy we’re here giving the public what they want’

Fire Chefs give back to community with one free meal a day to those who are in need

Fire Chefs will offer one free meal from 3:30 until 4:30 on the days they are open to those in need.

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

World COVID-19 update: Six million U.S. jobless claims; Russia sends medical aid to U.S.

Comprehensive update with COVID-19 news from around the world

Couple celebrates 61st anniversary through Vancouver Island seniors’ home window

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

A look at some of the B.C. inventors creating life-saving tools in fight against COVID-19

Groups across B.C. are working together to create what they hope will help people affected by the pandemic

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

Belle from ‘Beauty and the Beast’ entertains home-bound kids in Cowichan Bay

Alora Killam, 16, played the part in musical two years ago

55+ BC Games cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

Greater Victoria set to host 2021 event

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

Most Read