Friend or Foe – Food in the Classroom

by Megan


“My coffee! My muffin! I spent three dollars on this!” Teachers are hearing the same story every morning this year. With the new school rule at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, there is no consumption of anything in the classroom other than good, old, refreshing water. Most upper-classmen find it hard to adjust to this new rule, and many now question its purpose.

Many rumors are floating about the hallways. Many teachers claim allergies to common classroom snacks. Not only might some allergic students experience symptoms in a classroom full of food, but it is also a major issue with cross-contamination. For example, if a student was finishing his or her banana nut muffin on a desk during 1st period, a student that sits at that same desk during 2nd could still experience symptoms after the muffin is long gone.

Naturally, students are suspicious. “I doubt it would take all these years to realize allergies were an issue. It has been a more current dilemma,” claim upper-classmen.

For reason like this, older students have suggested other reasons for this rule. Most common of the claims, mice!  They have allegedly been spotted.  Not only is it a sanitation issue; it’s NASTY!  Also, it causes many problems to the RFH staff; such as health codes and money for extermination. However, even these reasons aren’t enough for some students.

The simplest solution for this predicament would be to allow food in the classroom as long as it’s maintained at the same time. I think food is a nice advantage; yet not 100% necessary. Pursuing this further, humans have originally evolved to eat throughout the day; not to starve yourself until lunch, then barely make it home at 3 o’clock to pig-out. We were made to eat when we are hungry. That may mean squeezing in an apple during 3rd or 4th period to curve your hunger before 7th period lunch. Also, with every time-consuming task to do in the morning, it is not uncommon for students to skip breakfast. So even if it just involved eating 1st period (until homeroom) everything helps.

Also, even if you do follow the three-meal-per-day plan, both 4th period and 7th are awkward times to eat lunch. So whenever you’re feeling hungry, it would be much easier for both students and teachers to just have a bite to eat during class. However, there have been complaints from the staff on the full-fledged meal being brought to the classroom. Teachers seem not to mind if you are simply drinking tea in the morning or eating an apple in the afternoon, but there would always be that one student who took advantage of this rule and would bring in an entire three-course meal.

Instances like this, weather it be the students or teacher at fault, were just another reason why RFH’s new rule of no eating in the classroom was put in place.


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