The Shrinking Lunch Period

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Students of Leesville(LRHS) struggle to make the most of their 27 minute lunch period. What used to be an hour-long lunch period is now a 27 minute race to escape the classroom. (Photo courtesy of Patrick Fleming)

Since 2020, the LRHS lunch period has transformed from a leisurely one-hour break to a mere 27 minute panic. This change has sparked frustration among students who rely on this time to recharge, socialize, and nourish themselves. All LRHS students share the inconveniences caused by this shortened lunch period.

One of the most apparent inconveniences of the truncated lunch period is the rush it imposes on students. 

No longer do we have the luxury of taking our time to savor our meals or engage in meaningful conversations with friends. Instead, we find ourselves scarfing down our food, barely able to enjoy a proper meal. 

As Brier Griffin, a senior here at LRHS, said, “It feels like we’re being treated like machines, not students.” 

Eating in a hurry leaves students, just like Griffin, feeling unsatisfied and drains their energy for the rest of the day.

In addition to the lack of time to eat, students are finding it increasingly challenging to socialize during lunch. The shortened break means there are more people vying for limited seats and tables in the cafeteria, resulting in a chaotic and cramped environment. 

Jaidee Hernandez, a sophomore, said, “There’s barely any space to sit, let alone have a conversation… lunch used to be a time when we could bond with our friends. Now, it’s like we’re all competing for a spot to eat.”

Another consequence of the abbreviated lunch period is the detrimental impact on our overall well-being. With only 27 minutes to eat, many students are forced to make unhealthy food choices due to the lack of time to access healthier options. Kellyn Krause, a senior, said, “I used to eat at home during off-campus lunch with plenty of time to cook a delicious meal.” Nowadays students who want to eat off campus have no choice but to speed over to the nearest fast-food spot.

Furthermore, the shortened lunch period leaves students with little time for mental and physical breaks. School days can be long and demanding, and lunchtime used to provide a much-needed respite. Jenny Ferrari, a senior, expresses her concern: “I used to look forward to lunch as a time to recharge and take a breather. Now, it feels like we’re constantly on the go, rushing from one class to the next. It’s exhausting, and it affects my ability to concentrate in class.”

The decision to shorten our lunch period has brought about a host of inconveniences for students. From feeling rushed during meals to the difficulty in finding space to socialize, the consequences are undeniable. Additionally, the negative impact on our physical and mental well-being cannot be overlooked. It is essential for school administrators to reconsider the importance of providing students with adequate time for lunch, as it plays a crucial role in our overall development and success. 

We deserve better than 27 minutes. It’s time to restore our lunch hour and prioritize the well-being of the student body.

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