New lunch system creates divide among students


Jessica Gunther

The cafeteria is crowded as students wait in line for lunch.

Issac Sanchez, Staff Writer

   A new school year has started, and students have settled in with new classes and the new “one” lunch system.  This has been a controversial change as many students were used to and liked the two lunch system the school had implemented for the past two years.  The two lunch systems in the past were based on where your 5th period class was located.  There was mixed opinion about the two lunches throughout the years and students are now left wondering why this change was made.    

   “The most recent move to two lunches happened when we were under construction,” assistant principal Tori Maehara said. “Part of the interest in remaining in two lunches was because of the numbers that were requested by the state and our guidelines in terms of  seating in lunch rooms. Our decision to go back to one lunch was out of what we had heard in terms of preference by the community.”

   With the change back to one lunch some students find it an annoyance with the wait time of passing through people and crowds just to make it out the building to go home or somewhere to eat only to have 10 to 20 minutes to eat and make it back to class, and prefer it to be back to the two lunch system from last year.

“I think the school lunch should be changed to how it was last year,’’ junior student Micah said. “Because right now, all places like Burger King…you can’t even go there to get food because it’s all crowded (and you) can’t go to Wendy’s anymore. The lunch room’s all crowded. It is bad.”

   Hallways have been blocked, and trying to navigate through lunch has been a hassle for those who are tired and just want to eat.

 Last year, students could freely walk around the hallways to their destination, order their food, and have 10-20 minutes to eat inside. With this lunch system, many students feel they don’t get enough time to eat and relax. Some even end up late to class due to the time it takes to get through the hallways and to their destination.

   “My preference is two lunches because last year there wasn’t a big crowd in the hallways at  lunch for us since I had second lunch,” junior student Abby Murillo said. “Lunch wasn’t crowded, and the hallways weren’t as crowded. But now that it’s a combination, hallways are getting more and more crowded, and students are arriving late to the school.”

   The school could possibly return to the previous lunch system, assistant principal Tori Maehara said. 

“Generally, these types of decisions are made year to year, so I wouldn’t expect to see a change it to a double lunch this year. Bell schedules are generally approved for a school year,” Maehara said. 

   The two lunches had some problems. Students last year were separated from friends, and some students would skip class to take both lunches. 

   “One of the issues that was challenging in a multiple lunch system, especially in a multiple lunch system like ours, where students can go off campus, is that then it can be hard to monitor students who are taking two lunches who are coming back in the building late and maybe should be in class,” Maehara said. “So the supervision issue in terms of whether or not a student should be in class or at lunch can be easier with one lunch.”

   Some students prefer the combined lunch and may not want it to be changed. 

   “I like the one lunch a day (for) every student because you can see your friends…and you don’t have to be alone,” sophomore student Tanner said.