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Give Shawnee Mission School Kids More Time to Eat Lunch

Please, join me in asking the Shawnee Mission School Board of Education, the superintendent, and school principals to extend the time students are allowed to eat lunch throughout the district. 

The kids at Apache Elementary School in the Shawnee Mission School District get 30 minutes for their lunch period. That sounds decent. But keep in mind, those thirty minutes are not spent eating. Most of their time is spent waiting to get in line and then standing in line for their meal (10-20 minutes,) and cleaning up and waiting in line to head back to class (5 minutes.) This gives students 15 minutes to eat their meal, on a good day.

On a day like today, when I was invited to join my daughter and her classmates for lunch, by the time we sat down to eat our Thanksgiving Meal (chicken nuggets) we had five minutes left to eat. FIVE minutes before the lunchroom attendant forced us to get up from the table and dump whatever food was left uneaten on our trays (at least half of it) into the garbage.

Not only is five to fifteen minutes not enough time to eat a meal, it's a big waste of money. Mostly taxpayer dollars. Seventy-percent of the students at my daughter's school receive free or reduced priced meals. They are called "free" or "reduced price," but they are not actually "free" or "reduced price." They are paid for by tax dollars. Money collected from my paycheck. And gladly so. I think our free and reduced priced lunch program is one of the best services we can give public school students. Like I said, it's difficult, if not impossible, to be a productive member of society if you are hungry. I gladly pay my taxes so that kids have enough to eat. 

They have enough to eat. They do not have enough time to eat.

My daughter is lucky. Our family is financially stable enough that I can send her to school with a sack lunch. Then, instead of waiting to get in line and then standing in line for her meal (10-20 minutes,) she can just sit right down and start eating her sack lunch. All she has to worry about is the five minutes at the end of the lunch period reserved for cleaning up and waiting in line to head back to class. Having twenty-five minutes to eat lunch is adequate. Anything less is a grave disservice to our kids. Especially those seventy-percent of students who rely on the free and reduced price lunch program to achieve their nutritional needs. 

Today, as we were dismissed from our Thanksgiving Meal, instead of feeling thankful, I felt sick to my stomach as I watched hungry children dump half of their meals into the trash.

Our kids deserve better. Please, add your name to this petition.

For more details, please see my blog post: 
http://thisambiguouslife.blogspot.com/2015/11/thankless-school-meals.html

This petition was delivered to:
  • Shawnee Mission School District Board of Education
  • Dr. Jim Hinson, Superintendent of Shawnee Mission School District
  • Jennifer Griffith, Principal of Apache Elementary


    Rebecca Carleton started this petition with a single signature, and now has 15 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.