Battle Brewing in Augusta over School Lunch Time
AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine lawmakers are considering legislation that would require school lunch breaks to last at least half an hour.
Most schools in Maine limit student lunch periods to 20 minutes. Michelle Lamb, of South Portland, says that short time period is a problem for students, including her 10-year-old son.
“My son often brings home a half-eaten lunch," Lamb says. "When I ask why, he says he didn’t have enough time to eat. He doesn’t tell me he wasn’t hungry, but he tells me he was too rushed to eat.”
Experts told lawmakers that, with more time to eat, students are likely to have better nutrition, and better nutrition yields better classroom results.
But the Maine School Management Association is opposed to the requirement. Administrators say such decisions should be left up to individual schools and not mandated by the state.
Tomaszewski, Maine School Management Association “We do understand there are
concerns in some areas about lunch periods that are too short. School boards
and administrators hear those concerns and mitigate them when possible. The
reality is there literally is not enough time in the school day to do
everything we want to do.”