Should San Luis Obispo High School students be able to eat in class? For years students were allowed to peacefully munch on all their snacks and meals throughout class periods while simultaneously learning and engaging with their peers. However, in recent years policy surrounding food in class has become more strict, as evident in the overwhelming amount of NO FOOD signs in classrooms. This raises the question: why? It seems unclear how food in classrooms during periods is somehow different from eating in a classroom at lunch, break, or passing periods. Moreover, there are negative consequences to such strict policies.
“For student-athletes that have high metabolism levels it makes it hard for us to eat throughout the day,” said senior Cole Bumen. “Without having a consistent and continuous eating regimen, it forces us to eat a lot in shorts spans of time which causes cramps and hurts our performance.”
For none student-athletes, there is still a case to be made for eating in class. It is not uncommon in our busy lives to be too preoccupied with other things to eat during the limited amounts of time we are given. For example, there is no reason that a student running a little late in the morning and misses breakfast can’t snack on a bagel or fruit while there teacher is lecturing. At lunch and break, extracurriculars and schoolwork can often keep students from taking the time they need to properly refuel their bodies, leaving fourth period as a prime opportunity to eat during the period.
Despite these strict policies, there are exceptions. Freshman Drew Vander Weele has a serious condition in which he has to be eating throughout the day or else he’ll have a seizure.
“Basically my blood sugar is all out of wack and if I don’t eat I’ll have a seizure. My body can’t produce fats and my pancreas doesn’t work so I need to be eating all the time,” said Vander Weele.
In Vander Weele’s case, he is simply given a list of foods that he can’t bring into the classroom for the safety of others, something that could easily be implemented school wide.
The reasons for these policies, however, is fairly simple.
“We have multiple students on campus with multiple different allergies… We’ve had students go down into epileptic seizures from residue on tables which is the main reason that its so strictly enforced… We made it a point six years ago to carve out nutrition break for students to eat in the morning before lunch and that’s exactly what we’ve done.”
I understand the need to protect our students with allergies, but I’m also a firm believer in compromise and trust. Given the desire of all students on campus, it seems ridiculous to keep so many responsible students from eating as they please during class time so long as they continue to be just as respectful of others and their teachers, just as they would without food.