The New In-Class Food Ban is a Huge Miss


Peter Giertsen

Substitute teacher Mrs. Wolfe taking away food from a student eating in class.

With the administration coming up with random rules that would make no sense and never be put in place at public schools, they have decided to limit students’ rights to eat food. I think this act by the administration is going to negatively affect students due to not having their hunger needs satisfied as well as even more freedom being taken away from students here at BSM.

Cafeteria supervisors have been instructed to tell students who are not in free hour or lunch to leave the lunch room, regardless of whether or not they have already purchased food. In many classes, students ask their teachers during down time or when it is convenient for them to grab a snack for different reasons. These reasons can include a mental break from whatever is going on in class, having stomach issues so eating is necessary, or just adding calories and feeling fed during the day.

Students who do not eat at home before school are statistically more likely to experience academic problems, emotional/behavioral problems, as well as attention problems. After learning that “most American kids — 82.4 percent of those ages 2 to 19 — eat breakfast, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention” ( which means 1 in 5 children do not eat in the morning, which can lead to the behavioral issues that negate the student body from having these privileges. We are going in circles.

With BSM being a school with a small population, many of these students have before/after school activities or athletic events. Last year, 92% of students participated in BSM extracurricular activities, most of which were after school ended at 2:30. So in years past, students would have an opportunity to fuel their bodies with food or drinks whenever they felt necessary to make sure they are performing at their best mentally in the classroom or physically on the field/court/rink. Looking at the rule that has been put in place, only being able to eat lunch at school when Taher offers food from 7:30-2:30 does not make sense. If they expect the majority of students to eat either before school or strictly during lunch, then why is there a food service provided for 8 hours? Students should be able to eat or drink what they want in a certain area intended for eating food.

This also negatively affects Taher, students, and the world we live in today. With this rule being put in place, Taher is losing money because there are fewer students buying food in the cafeteria. This means that most of the food that is not bought is thrown away, which is wasting more money for Taher, and wasting quality food that unfortunately many people in our world don’t have access to. Furthermore, with the decline in purchasing food, this causes prices to inflate, making each student buying lunch or small little snacks having to overpay for these items just so Taher makes their overall margins.

I typically make multiple trips to Taher a day so I can stay energized for my after school activities. As someone involved in sports, working out, and tutoring, these trips are important so I can stay focused on these tasks. But now we are not allowed to eat food in the lunch room because of the administration’s opinion that it distracts teachers and is a bad habit for students to have. The fact that teachers allow students to leave the room during a convenient time to make sure they feel good for class should be a huge indicator that teenagers taking a break from nothing going on in class is not counterproductive.

This rule is impractical for students and teachers alike as long as communication is proper. When students are responsible with their time and understand that the teacher is putting their trust in them, this opportunity can be taken away quickly. From my understanding in talking to multiple administrators, this privilege has been revoked due to a handful of students not being mature enough to use their opportunity wisely, which for a large percentage of the student body is unfair and should not stand.
I understand if a student asks to go to the bathroom and takes 10-15 minutes to eat a lot of food and mess around in the lunchroom – this rule would help students take responsibility for their actions, leaving the option of freedom and certain privileges up to their behavior instead of making rules for the entire student body based on only a few students’ actions.

For many reasons this is a difficult argument for admin to make because they don’t see why positives outweigh negatives. Giving students freedom in the school in general is a huge positive because it forces them to have responsibility and allows them to respect authority due to the fact that they are being treated with respect.