Students question Staples’ compliance with State lunch requirements

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Students question Staples’ compliance with State lunch requirements

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Schools in Connecticut are required to provide students a minimum of 20 minutes for lunch during a school day. On Nov. 13, 2007, Mark K. McQuillan, Commissioner of Education for Connecticut, issued a letter to all superintendents in Connecticut setting forth the minimum amount of time for lunch that schools must provide students.  

According to McQuillan’s letter, “Connecticut General Statutes mandates that each local and regional board of education shall require each school under its jurisdiction to offer all full day students a daily lunch period of not less than 20 minutes.”

There is a question if Staples complies with this 20 minute requirement in connection with lab lunches because lab lunches last for 20 minutes, and it does not include a five minute passing time to get to the cafeteria.

“Lab lunches start 10 minutes after the bell, and the bell is 30 minutes during the lunch period. So that is 20 minutes.” AJ Scheetz, department head of Science at Staples, said. “I think we’re in compliance,” Scheetz added.

Many students like Lucy Mather ’18 and Emma Rojas ’18 are questioning Staples’ compliance with these state requirements.

“Lab lunch is only 15 minutes. Granted it is only a five minute difference, and it is still the law and five minutes could mean that I get a healthier option, not just pick something up because I am in a rush,” Rojas, who is currently enrolled in Forensics, said.

“I do not think we get the full 20 minutes,” Mather, who currently is enrolled in Earth Science, Forensics, Marine Biology, Zoology and Stars and Galaxies, said. “It takes at least five minutes to get to the cafeteria or back to the science room and that only leaves 15 minutes. Unless you are running you are not getting a full 20 minutes.”

The issue is how passing time is treated with respect to the Connecticut law. Passing time is included in Scheetz’s interpretation while passing time is not included in the student’s interpretation. The students believe they should be given an additional five minutes in order to get a full 20 minutes in the cafeteria.