AHS Cafe Undergoes Changes in Reponse to Cutting, Theft and Lack of Respect


Sara Krenshaw

AHS students standing in line in front of anti-theft signs at the cafe during their lunch.

The AHS cafe has undergone multiple closures and remodels throughout the 22-23 school year due to issues with cutting, theft, and disrespect.

There have always been a lack of courtesy at the AHS cafe, but throughout the past couple of years, AHS staff have noticed various behaviors becoming more disruptive. These behavioral issues have caused the cafe to close multiple times, first on Sept.13 and again on Oct. 9th. The cafe has also undergone a redesign that entailed changing the direction of the line and reorginizing food to help combat cutting. AHS students are passionate about their cafe access, but disrespect is causing teachers and staff to question cafe usage and if students are taking advantage of that privilege.

Tenille Folk, Food Service Director at ASD, runs and manages the cafe. Folk has a unique insight on day-to-day student behavior and the impact those behaviors have on the AHS community. One behavior that she sees as the most disruptive is cutting.

“[Cutting is] so rude, I don’t care if you’re a senior or not. have to wait in line wherever I go, whether I go to a hockey game or a baseball game or whatever. I still have to wait in line,” Folk said.

The AHS cafe is a unique advantage of the school, but with that comes behaviors that can lead to closures. Folk decides if the cafe will be open and when the cafe will have to be closed, usually due to a lack of respect.

“I feel like that’s being taken advantage of then I will make a choice to close. The cafe is a privilege, “ Folk said.

Folk is not the only one who feels the effects of the cafe in her day-to-day life, many teachers and students are largely impacted by the cafe and its offerings. A large debate centers around whether students should be able to leave for the cafe in the middle of class. Fiona Benvenuto, AHS 10th grader, uses the cafe to fuel her learning and gain success in her rigorous classes.

“People leave class for the cafe all the time, I feel like people should be able to do that because you can’t pay attention or learn when you’re not processing enough calories,” Benvenuto said.

These issues have been present for a long time, but many have noticed a rise in cutting and theft within the last few years. Brent Maiolo, an AHS science teacher, has had a cafe his entire time working here and is one of the many who noticed changes over the past year.

“We’ve had a cafe or something similar to it ever since I’ve worked here, so 16 years. I don’t think until this year has the amount of like theft and stealing been as prominent. It’s really sad,” Maiolo said.