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Lunch and the Great Outdoors

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Lunch and the Great Outdoors

There are so many reasons we should be allowed to eat lunch outside.

There are so many reasons we should be allowed to eat lunch outside.

Hayden Howell

There are so many reasons we should be allowed to eat lunch outside.

Hayden Howell

Hayden Howell

There are so many reasons we should be allowed to eat lunch outside.

Hayden Howell, photographer

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The outdoor lunch restriction question: should students be allowed to wander outside of the cafeteria for parts of their lunch hour, or do they need to stay huddled within the cafeteria walls of confinement?  

This is the big question facing school administration and students. What is a balance each are comfortable with?

Staying indoors makes students feel like they are more trapped and don’t have any freedom. Being given the opportunity to go outside or to the library would be appreciated because of how inconvenient it is to be stuck in one spot for an hour. The option to move around would benefit us in many cases.

A similar example: if my phone was confiscated, and I have an assignment I wanted to complete during lunch– It would be better if , after eating lunch, I could go to the library and use the computer allowing me the freedom I need to complete an assignment more effectively.

The opportunity to go outside of the cafeteria would benefit students, giving them a chance at fresh air and conversation with friends. Staying in a classroom all day certainly makes students feel confined, but if given the choice to go outside during lunch, it would let students loosen up. With spring weather approaching students will have all the more reason to appreciate the outdoors. With students not given the option to go outside it wastes the open space of our beautiful courtyard.

Another argument: regular sun exposure is the most natural way to get adequate vitamin D. Maintaining healthy levels, we should aim to get 10 to 30 minutes of midday sunlight. Spending as little as five minutes outside can reduce stress levels as well. Taking a regular outdoor walk is better for one’s long term mental health, and taking that walk outside is even better. Often, the outdoors provides a change of pace from the classroom, which students and teachers enjoy. Studies have shown increased student enthusiasm for learning when in the outdoors.

If leaving the cafeteria and being allowed to go beyond the cafeteria area is a safety issue, consdier that we have eight passing periods a day where all students are in the halls and going outside to go from building to building to get to their next class period.

Hays campus was not built as single, contained building. There are many separate non-connected areas not secure or covered. Even having students walk from building to building to change classes should be considered a major safety event done eight times a day. Have complete safety concerns been examined and major threats eliminated for these six-minute time frames each hour of every school day?

To have an open campus opportunity, there certainly has to be some restrictions about where students can go. Since there are three different lunch periods, students should not be allowed to roam halls of buildings where classes are still in session. However, finding places for students to go to, such as: the library, gyms, or outside courtyard areas. This does open up the flexibility students could benefit from in their lunch period when they have finished eating.

 

 

About the Contributor
Hayden Howell, photographer

Hayden Howell is a sophomore and a first year Hays Media staffer. Hayden enjoys watching The Office and playing baseball in his spare time. He is happy...

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