25-minute lunches should be commonplace


Jacob Maska

Students make selections on their way through the lunch line. With potential new rule enforcement, all students will be allowed only 20 minutes for lunch.

Many teachers give up five minutes of their third hour class period to add to students’ already-short lunchtime, bringing the lunch period to a whopping total of 25 minutes. However, it has recently been rumored that 20-minute lunches will become required in all classes.

This standard is not realistic nor conducive to proper digestion. Although school lunch portions are far from large, 20 minutes is simply not enough time to scarf down an entire meal.

It is worth mentioning that students are not given additional time to go through the lunch line, make their selections and pay—all lunch-related activities are supposed to take place within the 20-minute time slot.

On slower days with more students in the line or increased options available (i.e. holiday dinners), going through the lunch line can take up as much as half of the allotted time.

This leaves students with only 10 minutes to find a place to sit in the crowded cafeteria, eat, make it back to their classroom and avoid a detention. Never mind if a hungry student decides they want seconds.

With the school lunch reform that took place under the Obama administration, more fruits, vegetables and whole grain options were added to and required by school lunch programs.

In theory, these items should take longer to eat and digest. Adding more digestion time to students’ lunch periods, however, was not part of Michelle Obama’s master plan.

If the intention of offering students only 20 minutes to eat is to prepare them for the “real world,” then the administration is falling cruelly short of this goal. Most work settings offer their employees at least 30-minute breaks for lunch—some workers may even be given an upwards of an hour for their meal.

While the issue with subtracting five minutes from a class period to offer students more time to eat comes down to state-mandated educational minutes, it is safe to assume that most students would not mind staying at school five extra minutes in order to have a 25-minute lunch. Another possible solution may be to lose five minutes of seminar to allow for a slightly longer lunch period and keep students from earning the detention that may come with taking a reasonable amount of time to eat.