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Students need time to enjoy healthy lunches

Staff Report • Aug 12, 2013 at 5:19 PM

Periodically, we get comments from students and parents regarding the quantity and quality of local school lunches. If you recall, we published a number of letters to Forum last year from high schoolers in Washington County who were not pleased with the system’s healthier menu.More than a few wanted tater tots and pizza slices returned to their lunch trays.Another complaint we hear regularly is that students simply don’t have time to eat their lunches. One parent told us last week her son (a student in the Washington County School System) has less than 20 minutes to get to the lunchroom, eat his lunch and get to where he needs to be next. As a result, this mother told us her son often eats very little at lunch, or nothing at all. This is also an issue for Johnson City students. Earlier this year, we heard from a candidate for the city Board of Education who said his daughter was not getting adequate time to eat her lunch.We understand lunch time is not the most pressing issue before school officials. With all the new curriculum requirements and tougher standards our schools now face, it’s understandable if educators believe students should spend more time in the classroom and less time in the lunchroom.Still, this is an issue that needs to be addressed by school officials. As we noted in the space last week, school officials in Johnson City and Washington County have adopted more nutritious lunch menus. That’s great, but what good are these healthier lunches if students don’t have time to eat them?

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