Many of us remember that famous scene from "Fast Times At Ridgemont High," when surfer dude Jeff Spicoli orders a double-sausage and cheese pizza — to be delivered to his desk right in the middle of history class. His teacher, Mr. Hand, is not amused.
Mr. Hand asks what Spicoli thinks he's doing, to which Spicoli (played by pre-activist Sean Penn) replies: “Learning about Cuba — and having some food.”
Mr. Hand proceeds to give away Spicoli’s pizza to other students, and even has a slice himself.
Apparently, students at Liberty High School started taking cues from the 1982 stoner icon. Not the stoner part — the food delivery part.They began ordering meals via Uber Eats during class.
Spicoli would abide.
Except that the practice became such a disruption that school officials officially banned the ride-hailing and food-delivery service from bringing food to young customers on their campus.
“Liberty High School will not accept meals delivered by Uber Eats during the school day. The meals must be signed for and (their delivery) has become a disruption to class time when students must leave class to sign for the meals,” campus officials wrote on the Liberty High School website.
Spicoli wouldn’t abide that.
Liberty High Principal Libby Wyatt said that in her 28 years of education, she’s seen an occasional pizza delivered to class and that it always got nipped in the bud pretty quickly, but the volume of orders students were placing through Uber Eats was an entirely different challenge. It just became too much for office staff to handle.
“My kids at school are smart, and they’re resourceful, and they very quickly figured out they could call Uber Eats and have food delivered to school,” Wyatt said.
As soon as Uber's local food delivery model went live last month, Liberty’s office staff began seeing two or three orders a day from students. Then four or five.
And after a couple days, it wasn’t just lunches they were ordering from Subway, McDonalds — and yes, pizza parlors — Wyatt, said. It was breakfast from Bagels and Blenderz, too.
“I thought, ‘I have to get a handle on this before we have 30 or 40 deliveries a day,” said Wyatt, who let her students have their fun until the Friday before final examinations last month. Then the pizza party was over.
Outside of the disruptions to class, Wyatt said, some of the delivery drivers weren’t as nice as they could have been to front office employees. Drivers were no doubt peeved at the length of time it took to pull students from classrooms to sign for and retrieve meals. Time is money, and they had more deliveries to make.
So far, the Uber ban has been implemented only at Liberty High School and not any of the district’s other 17 high schools, Kern High School District spokeswoman Lisa Krch said.
Liberty’s website urges parents to plan accordingly to ensure students have a lunch — other than something delivered by Uber Eats.
No word on whether any Liberty High teachers gave away any Uber Eats meals a la Mr. Hand. And no word on whether any Liberty student, thus deprived of his delivered meal, channeled Spicioli and uttered the immortal words, "Hey, bud! What's your problem?"