Wanna Have Lunch at Pitman?


Madiha Haideri (9th), Editor

I always thought that if there were to be a high school problem, it would most likely be bullying. Pitman High has proven me wrong! The problem in PHS isn’t bullying, surprisingly, it’s the length of the lunch period. And this isn’t about just a group of kids, this problem is a school-wide issue and students want to see a difference!


All five days of the week, each class is about 50 minutes long with lunch being only 30 minutes; a difference of 20 minutes! There are 7 lunch lines available for all PHS students. 


All lines are chaotic, messy, and quite frankly, lots of shoving is happening. Students are cutting each other left and right. Why would they feel the need to cut ahead? Well, simply because they want lunch, and they know that if they don’t cut, chances are high that they won’t receive lunch.


With short lunch times, it’s a lose-lose situation for the students and the school. First of all, students who don’t get lunch, go hungry for the rest of the day they’re in school. Which can affect their mood in class, their academic prowess, and their behavior towards their peers. Have you guys ever wondered what happens to all the remaining food that PHS has after lunch is over? If they had longer lunch time, all students would receive food AND PHS wouldn’t have as much excess food.


When Annabelle Thao, a freshman, was asked, “As someone who gets a hot lunch everyday, what’s your opinion on the lunch time?” she responded with, “It’s too short. We can’t get lunch otherwise, so we run to the lunch lines as soon as the bell rings.” She pointed out that, “Students get tired after a long day at school, and without lunch it’s even more unbearable.” She also mentioned that she went through a day hungry because she wasn’t able to get lunch. Needless to acknowledge the reason. 


When asked, “How would you describe the strategy PHS is using to give students lunches?” Thao simply said, “Inefficient.” 


To get further insight on this matter, Briana Padilla, a Spanish teacher was asked, “As a teacher, do you think 30 minutes is enough for lunch?” She answered with “It depends. Sometimes it’s enough, sometimes it’s not. Some days I have to warm up my food so it’s longer. If I forget to bring food, then I have to figure out if someone will get me lunch or something else.” 


To, “What’s your opinion on kids wanting a longer lunch time?” Padilla directly said, “It’s valid. It’s understandable that they want to enjoy their time and savor their food.” Obviously, with short lunch times, it’s not possible for them to get lunch, eat it, AND spend time just relaxing and chilling with their friends.


Now, as someone who doesn’t have to wait in long lines, AND has privileges that students don’t, Ms. Padilla thinks that 30 minutes CAN, in fact, be short. Now, take a wild guess as to why the students want a longer lunch time.


On the other hand, students who wait in the LONG lunch lines, barely have any time to talk with their friends or relax. In a rush to get and eat their food, sitting around and enjoying lunch is just something they don’t have a chance to do. 


At the end of the day, isn’t that what lunch time is really about; sitting around and enjoying lunch with your friends? A break from all the studies? And ironically enough, students don’t have the time to do just that.