Locked out of lunch: Don’t schedule specialized classes during lunch period


A student eats their lunch during class. Many students are forced to eat lunch during their classes because the school only offers some specialized classes during lunch periods. Photo by Isaac DeMarchi.

By Jenny Lu

Academics are important, but are they important enough to give up your lunch period to take a class you find interesting? For many students, including me, the answer is yes. Every year, students choose to take more specialized classes end up with no lunch block and a free period due to scheduling conflicts.

We’re lucky that Whitman offers a variety of classes, ranging from Child Development to Civil Engineering, but in many cases, only a few students sign up for these smaller and more specific classes. This result is only one or two available periods of the class during the day, meaning the class is ‘locked’ in that period. Essentially, if a student want to adjust classes in their schedule, the changes need to comply with that class period.

These locked classes shouldn’t run during lunch periods, as this causes many students to lose their lunch. Although students may take a free period during another class period other than lunch, most students choose to fill that period as a Teacher’s Assistant. This takes away the one free period of studying in the library, making up work or seeking assistance from a teacher that has the period off.

Additionally, if seniors especially need to see their counselor about college or a teacher for a letter of recommendation, they often have to sacrifice time in their other classes, as those meetings can take up most of one class period.

Because many teachers don’t allow food in class, many students without a lunch period resort to either eating small snacks in class, sneaking portions throughout the day or not eating lunch at all. Many “locked” classes in computer science labs don’t allow food at all. Personally, I have two classes in a science lab and three others working with computers. Many days, I eat small snacks throughout the day, or don’t eat at all.

Furthermore, many students end up falling behind in classes without a lunch period to make up coursework for a missed school day. Students have to either wake up early or stay after school to make up the missed work, forcing their teachers to have to dedicate extra time to this as well. Because I take a few locked classes, causing my 5th and 6th periods to be filled, I’ve found myself consistently staying after school and missing other classes to make up work and meet with teachers for help. Not only do I have to unnecessarily spend time after school, but my teachers do as well.

It’s important for students to have time to eat, relax or make up work and moving around a few class periods to allow these students that time to eat and catch up on work could greatly lessen the stress of an already busy student.