By Gaby Maldonado
It’s the beginning of the school year and every student is on their way to enter the school after doing remote learning since the onset of the COVID pandemic. Everyone was excited to see their friends after being isolated from them for months, but they soon had to live with the fact that they wouldn’t be able to interact with them as much as they hoped because the school separated the students into two separate lunch periods.
Recently, the school has been debating whether or not to switch back to two lunch periods. As a student of WPHS who has lived through both one and two lunch period schedules, I believe the school should keep the one common lunch period because it allows students to socialize, learn, and experience new things. Although more people are clustered together and more fights seem to happen during the common lunch period, the school should keep the one lunch period because students can interact with friends, participate in clubs, and seek extra help from teachers.
According to Rogers Behavior Heath, “socialization is essential to everyone’s health and well-being, but it is especially important for children to learn the unwritten norms of social interaction.” As every student made their way back into school, socialization hasn’t been the same. The lunch period is the only time where students can socialize with their friends that they don’t see in their classes. It can be difficult to keep relationships when you can’t interact with your favorite people. Seeing a close friend can brighten up someone’s day, but that won’t be able to happen if they can’t see each other during their only free time.
Additionally, if there is one lunch period, more clubs can meet so more students can experience new activities. If there are two lunch periods, clubs would have to meet after school because having two would make it very difficult for club advisors to create two meetings. Having clubs in the afternoon isn’t a great idea either because many students wouldn’t be able to attend because they have bigger priorities after school, like sports or jobs.
Finally, having one lunch period will give students the chance to work with teachers for extra help. If a teacher has to teach a class while a student needs one-on-one time with them, it can affect that students’ performance in the class. It makes it very difficult for students to improve on certain topics when they are struggling to succeed in their classes.
Although some problems are presented when there is a common lunch period, the problems that are shown when there are two are more significant. For example, with two lunch periods, students tend to skip class just so they can see their friends that are in the other lunch period. Not only does this affect that students’ grades, it also impacts the teacher because they have to find time out of there day to help that student succeed, and that can be very frustrating and difficult to do.
Clearly, White Plains High School should keep the common lunch period because it allows students to interact with their friends, participate in clubs, and seek help from teachers.