Are Parkdale’s lunch periods long enough?


Parkdale students lose valuable and scientifically-proven beneficial time at lunch due to the short periods.

Whether it be the quality of the food or the speed that the lines move, students always seem to have an issue with lunch. But are there complaints valid?Are the students at Parkdale High School given enough time to eat their lunches? 

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, students should receive at least 20 minutes to sit down and eat their food, which does not include the time it takes to walk from class to the cafeteria or to wait in line.

At Parkale, each lunch lasts 30 minutes with the last five minutes being used to throw away food and give students time to start walking back to class. That leaves only five minutes for students to walk to the cafeteria, get their lunch, and sit down if they wish to have at least 20 minutes to eat.

However, whether or not a student is able to get to the lunch on time is truly dependent on where their class is located. While a student whose class is on the bottom floor may make it to the cafeteria in just a few minutes, a student whose class is on the second floor in the Annex will waste a lot of time walking through the crowded hallways. By the time the student has arrived at the cafeteria, the lines will be far too long for them to get in and out quickly.

To get an idea of how long it would take for some students to get to the cafeteria, I timed myself on two different days. On the day where my class was downstairs near the cafeteria, I arrived and got through the line in just over four minutes. However, when my class was on the top floor of the main building, it took me 13 minutes to get to the cafeteria and get through the long line, which would leave only 12 minutes to sit down and eat.

In addition to this, because the times in between transitions are limited to six minutes, some students may stop to talk to counselors or turn in important paperwork during the lunch transition, which in turn takes away from their time to eat. Students who make stops to talk to teachers, visit administrators, or even use the bathroom, run the risk of losing a significant amount of lunch time 

And this isn’t just a problem that concerns students. It is also easy to assume that those serving the food are stressed as well.  This is especially true now that Line Four in the cafeteria is out of commission.  The cafeteria employees are tasked with serving lunches to countless students in a very limited amount of time.

“Everybody is troubled doing a lot of stuff in a short time,” said Ms. Debbie Mcnictt, a member of the lunch staff. “ It would be nice if we had a little bit of time in between lunches.”

So how can this problem be solved? Well to put it simply, extending the lunches would be the best solution. Having a longer lunch period isn’t unheard of as there are schools like Eleanor Roosevelt that have lunches that last up to 45 minutes. Even something as small as adding an extra five minutes to the lunch periods could make a significant difference.