The lunch time dilemma: students want more time to eat lunch

Darby O’Donnell ‘22, Entertainment Editor

In light of an article published on Oct. 23 by the Detroit Free Press titled, “Mich. mom says her kids don’t get enough time to eat lunch at school– and she’s not alone,” many South Lyon parents and students have started to show concern for a seemingly small issue: the amount of time students are given to eat lunch. 

SLHS students have varying opinions. Some believe that the current 26 minute lunch period is acceptable and they would be unhappy sacrificing time out of the rest of their day for lunch.  Others claim they struggle to finish their lunch in that time, and could use a few extra minutes. 

SLHS sophomore Katie Eisenmann said, “In my opinion, we need more time for lunch. We only get 25 minutes, and that’s not enough to [also] go to the bathroom or walk all the way across the school.”

This seems to be a common theme among students: the idea that even though lunch is 26 minutes long, students only get 15 or so to actually eat when bathroom trips, the walk between periods, and the wait for the lunch line are factored in. Ideally, students would also get time to socialize and have a period to decompress from the stress of classes, and with only 26 minutes, there isn’t room to do so. 

Sophomore Heather Shipley said, “Lunch should be longer, because it’s not like we’re able to eat a full, healthy meal in 15 minutes. I know they give us 25, but by the time we actually get to eating, it’s really only 15.”

Shipley brought up an important point about how student’s nutrition could be negatively impacted by having a short lunch period. 

According to the Detroit Free Press, “The CDC recommends at least 20 minutes of seat time to allow kids the chance to finish their meal, though it notes that less than half the school districts in the nation don’t require that.”

While students generally agree that they could use more time for lunch, many are also aware of the downsides. 

“If school would be longer or if the day would be messed up, then a longer lunch isn’t worth it,” sophomore Wyatt Fidell-Newsome said, “I know we don’t get enough time, but I’d rather have to rush than have a longer school day.” 

Currently, there are a few petitions in Michigan to extend lunch periods; one in Walled Lake has even collected over 13,000 signatures. While there is not currently a petition to extend lunches in South Lyon, change can still be made. Parents and students of both SLHS and other South Lyon schools can reach out to school administrators to discuss the situation.

There are pros and cons to changing the lunch schedule. If lunches were longer, students would not have to rush to finish their lunch, but the school day would likely be longer. Assistant Principal Mitch Rosekrans said, “I don’t think that lunches need to be longer. The current lunch period is 26 minutes, and if it were to be longer, then the day would be extended, and the middle school bus schedules would change.” 

While a change in the lunch schedule is not an impossible one, it does seem very unlikely considering all of the factors that would need to be counted for. In changing the lunch schedule, the school days would be longer, and the bus schedule would change for all grade levels. If parents and students are willing to adapt to these changes in order to extend lunch times, then they can contact school administrators to express their opinions, but if not; students better feed themselves faster.

https://www.freep.com/story/news/education/2019/10/23/school-lunch-periods-parent-advocacy/4052610002/

 

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