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Lunch is ruining my daughter's day at school. What do I do?

My daughter is 7 and in first grade. The public school she is in is a little "strict" on the lunch policy - there is NO talking, except for 5-10 minutes in the middle of lunch. The children must enter as a class and sit next to who they walked in by. The are to be quiet and eat for the first 10 minutes, talk for the middle 5-10 (IF the staff says it is okay), and then they need to be quiet the last 5-10 minutes as they line up in class lines to go out to recess. My daughter hates lunch, which has turned into hating school. She even got in trouble for humming in line one day and had to miss part of recess. I've talked to the teacher and principal, they say it is a disctrict wide policy. What do I do now?

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Asked by Anonymous at 9:52 PM on Oct. 16, 2008 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (24)
  • that sounds really stupid.. wht do the teachers do...

    "okay dont talk now..........okay now you can talk.........okay NOW you cant?"

    pull her out then.

    rules are rules as stupid as they may be and if its district wide try puttinghe rin a different district, or homeschool her.


    Answer by Anonymous at 9:53 PM on Oct. 16, 2008

  • I am no help here because I do not tolerate the public school system for various reasons. I home school my youngest who is 15yrs old and my oldest graduated from public schools this past year. They treat our children like cattle and it makes me nauseous. They can't think "outside" the box and see that there just might be a better way of doing something. If it's in the manual then it must be right. Very sad. I'm sorry your little one is having a rough time of it. Stay on top of her teachers.


    Answer by Southerncharmes at 9:55 PM on Oct. 16, 2008

  • I meant to add that not ALL public school systems are this way. I don't want to lump everyone into one giant stink pile but the school systems I've dealt with where horrible.


    Answer by Southerncharmes at 9:57 PM on Oct. 16, 2008

  • my daughter's school implemented all these new rules this year one of them being sit by who you lined up with and she is tolerating school but she used to be excited about school and i feel some of the rules are hurting the children rather than helping. I would hate to HAVE to sit by any of the kids that teased me back in school...i think it's just a big power trip and the easiest way to handle problems that might need a little extra effort or creativity.

    Answer by kstn415 at 10:01 PM on Oct. 16, 2008

  • Honestly it's becoming the "norm". All of the local school district here: All 6 public school districts here have the same lunch policy. There is NO talking in the lunch room; you have to sit with your class, and some of them go as far as having assign seating at lunch. You just come in sit and eat. That's it!!

    It really has to do with the fact that there is limited space and they have to get the kids in and out so other kids can eat lunch as well. The schools here have 3 different lunch periods!! So they need to get them in and out!!


    Answer by SAHMinIL at 10:03 PM on Oct. 16, 2008

  • I understand that it is a hard rule and it is becoming the norm here as well. Since she is really starting to hate school because of it you could go to a school council meeting and talk to the board. If you are going to do that I would make sure you have the back up of other parents.

    Second, see if you can go to the school during lunch time and see what happens. I know that we have a quiet lunch room as well. If all the students start talking loudly then the lunch room becomes so noisy you can not even think.

    Good Luck

    Answer by cornflakegirl3 at 7:35 AM on Oct. 17, 2008

  • When we moved to this area I went to a school board meeting and asked why this policy is in effect for our area. I was told it is becuase kids spend too much time talking and not eating. Then they go home and complain that they are starving and didn't have enough time to eat. This in turn made the parents head straight for the school and accuse the staff. So the school had to find away to say that the kids have enough time to eat and this was by taking away talking. I think they should no talking at all and not do a half time here and half time there type of thing.

    Do you ever go and eat lunch with your daughter? Maybe that would make it easier on her if you went once a week or so. Just a suggestion

    Answer by mommyof4ormore at 8:53 AM on Oct. 17, 2008

  • My little brother is seven and his school has the exact same lunch time rules. And while he hates it, I try to teach him not to let the little bit of silent time bring his whole day down. Try to remind her that play time is right after, so she should save all her words for then when she can let them all out and be as loud as she likes. Also try packing a sweet note or a favorite photo in her lunch each day, these fun little surprises might help to pass the time. If they are allowed to read or pass notes, those might also be good options. Good luck.

    Answer by Cris1128 at 9:53 AM on Oct. 17, 2008

  • Aww how sad. Its sounds like its becoming more of a prison than a school. I dont have any advice. What Cris1128 said sounds like the best so far. I hope something works out and things can be turned around. Thats really a shame they are doing that to the children without even seeing how its affecting them.

    Answer by EmilyRoseLovett at 10:11 AM on Oct. 17, 2008

  • That totally sucks. In 8th grade some of the kids in my class got in trouble and our "lunch mother" (we ate in our classrooms) punished us by making us do silent lunch and it sucked. It was mind-numbing. You just ate and sat there for 15-20 minutes twiddling your thumbs.
    My kids all eat in their classrooms at their desks. They still don't finish their food but I don't complain. When they come home whining they are hungry I tell them they should have ate their lunch instead of screwing around and talking. (They are in 3rd, 1st and kindergarten).

    Answer by justanotherjen at 10:11 AM on Oct. 17, 2008

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