Restaurant bans unaccompanied middle school students from dining, sparks mixed reviews

A restaurant in Wisconsin has received mixed reviews after posting a sign on its door stating middle school students are “no longer allowed inside of the building without parental supervision.”

Tom’s Drive-in in Appleton reportedly wrote the sign after experiencing “mistreatment of Tom’s Drive In’s property, guests and staff” from middle school students, according to the sign.

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The restaurant manager told WFRV that the sign was put in place months ago after students were caught vandalizing booths, yelling profanities and leaving large messes. Students were also reportedly caught stealing soda, fighting with other customers and giving each other tattoos with pen ink and needles, which resulted in bloody napkins being left behind at the restaurant.

Dealing with the post-school influx of middle school students had become a “full-time babysitting job,” the restaurant told WFRV, prompting the ban.

The restaurant did say they are not singling out one specific school, and did have many well-behaved students at the eatery. However, the increase in student-related issues became too much to handle.

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Middle school students are still allowed to order at the restaurant's walk-up window, or inside if they are chaperoned by their parents.

The new mandate prompted different reactions on social media.

“Its sad that they had to go to this extent, but im sure this was a last resort for them. If the kids were purposely making large messes, being disruptive, or damaging property, then this is a completely justified reaction,” one supporting the ban wrote.

“I understand where they are coming from,” one wrote of the restaurant’s actions.

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“Very Sad that All Students are banned when it’s probably just a Handful that Caused the Problems! Punish Those that are the Problems!!” one person commented on Instagram.

“PUNISH THEM ALL FOR THE MISDEEDS OF THE FEW. Booooooooo, fire that manager NOW!” one wrote.

The restaurant told WFRV the ban will remain in place until the end of the school year, and then they will reevaluate whether or not to keep it in place.