The Need for Longer Lunches
By Nick Jackson
Students at Novato High School have had to cope with absurdly short lunch times for way too long. This causes countless tardies and at times can lead to reckless driving due to the short time frame.
Drake, Tam, Redwood, San Rafael, Terra Linda, and many other North Bay high schools have lunch times that are usually 40 minutes, yet Novato Unified School District (NUSD) still chooses to keep a 35-minute lunch period.
Getting to local lunch destinations often takes lots of time due to the traffic. Students deal with extremely long lines at restaurants in the region due to both Novato and San Marin having the same lunch times and attempting to eat at the same places.
Junior Ryan Kennedy has been dealing with short lunch times for the last two years.
“I definitely think that we need longer lunch times. Even 5 or 10 minutes would be really helpful for attendance,” explained Kennedy. “So far this year I have had a few tardies after lunch but last year I had many and it hurts my learning.”
NHS junior Jack Curtis frequently goes off campus for lunch.
“It's really hard for students to get back to school in time,” explained Curtis. “Sometimes the lines at restaurants are out the door.”
Vice Principal Greg Fister has been here for 2 years, and he provided little insight as to why the lunch times are so short. When asked for a reason why in an email, Fister simply wrote “The length of time for lunch is the same as it has been for the last 3 years.” Clearly, this does not answer the big question.
When asked if he thought being tardy after lunch was a major impact to the students learning, Fister wrote, “Being on time to class and to appointments in life is an important personal habit to develop,” further providing no explanation to the short lunch breaks.
Another effect of short lunch times is the fact that it frequently causes extremely reckless driving. Many students have noticed this, often seeing kids speeding through Arthur Street, or even the NHS parking lot.
NHS junior Patrick Mason has noticed the reckless driving.
“People often exceed the speed limit and engage in dangerous driving just to get a filling lunch and get back in time,” explained Mason.
It is obvious that the Novato High lunch times are too short and until the administration can accept and respond to the student's need for change, the 35-minute lunches will likely remain.