Munch crunch with a bunch at lunch


Students waiting in line to get their lunches.

Here at Riverside Brookfield High School, students get 26 minutes for lunch. There are three periods: 4A, 4B, and 4C, that all add up to an hour and 18 minutes for students to have class and eat lunch. Most students believe that they do not have enough time to eat and get their work done.

At other schools like Lyons Township High School, students have four lunch periods of 25 minutes.

“On late start days they are better in my opinion, but I hate the 26 minute lunches because I don’t eat enough then,” said junior Moira Ford.

On the other hand, some students like freshman Paul Proteau do not think that lunch times need to be extended. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that students get at least 20 minutes for lunch.

“No, I think [lunch times] are pretty good. I head straight to lunch so I barely get into a big enough of a line to cause an issue,” said freshman Paul Proteau.

Some students here at RB think that the lunch times are fine.  Other students don’t have enough time to get their food, wait in the long lines, and still have time to eat and socialize.

“[If] the lines are too long then I just don’t eat lunch if I can’t buy food. I think about ten [more] minutes would be more adequate, since we have 26 minutes it would be 36 minutes.  Even though it is a small amount it would make a big difference,” said Ford.

English teacher Dan O’Rourke, who has an AP class during 4th period, has kept his students once before because of an activity that needed a full hour to complete.

“Very rarely will I have an activity that is not conducive to being broken up. Like for instance, sometimes I will have a pre-test for the AP class and it takes an hour, they need a solid hour to do it. 4B [lunch] doesn’t allow them to do that. They would only be able to do half, go to lunch, then come back and do the other half. When I have an activity like that I would need to keep them,” said O’Rourke.

Other teachers like Wendy Cassens who also has an AP class during fourth period does not like to keep her students. She does not see that it is fair to the students to hold them during their free time.

“I choose not to keep my students because that’s their free period of 25-30 minutes to not be tormented by me,” said Cassens.

One of the benefits to keeping students that O’Rourke does is that they can finish tests that need about an hour to complete and not an hour where they split it into two half hour periods. One of the reasons to keep students is that if he lets them go to 4B this gives them the opportunity to cheat on the test and come back during 4C with the answers which allows them to revisit and revise all answers they have gotten wrong and haven’t finalized.

“I wouldn’t do it otherwise if it didn’t benefit [the students]. I love the idea of a flex schedule that some schools do like Saint Ignatius where first hour on Mondays becomes second hour on Tuesdays so the kids are constantly in a flex schedule. I wouldn’t always have my AP class during lunch; sometimes it would be during lunch, but sometimes it would be seventh or first,” said O’Rourke.