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)

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

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes delivers the inaugural address at council’s swearing-in ceremony in November 2018. The ceremony included blessings from representatives of two Christian churches. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes delivers the inaugural address at council’s swearing-in ceremony in November, 2018. The ceremony included blessings from representatives of two Christian churches – a fact highlighted in a report released by the BC Humanist Associaton on Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
Christian-based prayer at inaugural Vancouver Island council meetings violates court ruling

Blessings violate Supreme Court decision that prayer in council is discriminatory

Karl Ablack, chair of the Port Renfrew Recovery Task Force, says visitors should steer clear of the community after the second wave of COVID has begun to hit across the province. (Black Press Media file photo)
Port Renfrew, Pacheedaht First Nation asks visitors to steer clear of community again

Tight-knit community of 400 has yet to report single case of COVID

The BCCDC has added WestJet flight 3349 on Nov. 23 to its flight exposure list. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan)
New COVID-19 exposure on WestJet flight from Edmonton to Victoria

The BCCDC has added WestJet flight 3349 on Nov. 23 to its flight exposure list

Goldstream Food Bank vice-president Walter Dubeau is happy to help others by volunteering at the food bank’s Christmas hamper program. (Rick Stiebel/News Staff)
Goldstream Food Bank Christmas Hamper program in full swing

Gratitude evident as hamper helpers happily give back

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 24

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Haven Daley)
POLL: Do you think the current COVID-19 restrictions should continue beyond Dec. 7?

One week into the new restrictions to curtail the spread of the… Continue reading

FILE - This May 4, 2020, file photo provided by the University of Maryland School of Medicine, shows the first patient enrolled in Pfizer's COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine clinical trial at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.  Pfizer announced Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, more results in its ongoing coronavirus vaccine study that suggest the shots are 95% effective a month after the first dose. (Courtesy of University of Maryland School of Medicine via AP, File)
VIDEO: B.C. planning for the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in the first weeks of 2021

The question of who will get the vaccine first relies on Canada’s ethical framework

This undated photo issued by the University of Oxford shows of vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
Canada can make vaccines, just not the ones leading the COVID-19 race

Canada has spent more than $1 billion to pre-order seven different developing COVID-19 vaccines

British Columbia Premier John Horgan speaks during an announcement about a new regional cancer centre in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020. Horgan is set to introduce his NDP government’s new cabinet Thursday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP cabinet built to tackle pandemic, economic recovery, says former premier

Seven former NDP cabinet ministers didn’t seek re-election, creating vacancies in several high-profile portfolios

The COVID-19 test centre at Peace Arch Hospital is located on the building’s south side. (Tracy Holmes photo)
B.C. woman calls for consistency in COVID-19 post-test messaging

‘Could we just get one thing straight?’ asks Surrey’s Deb Antifaev

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Most Read