When I was in high school, I resented our closed lunch. We were forced to stay on campus for our 25 minute lunch period.
Open lunch means students can leave campus for the lunch period. Open lunches have the allure of longer lunch periods, freedom, and fun.
Now that I have a more mature perspective, I believe any school district selling reasonable lunches on-campus would be patently irresponsible to allow open lunches.
Look at the downsides of open lunches:
- Higher insurance. That’s what my school district told me.
- Hooks children on garbage foods. Where do children on open lunch go? Mostly fast food restaurants, where they eat garbage: fried, greasy, salty foods packed full of refined carbohydrates and low quality fats.
- Costly. A $2 class A lunch is a lot cheaper than gas, vehicle wear and tear, and any restaurant meal.
- Denies children a healthful lunch. A traditional cafeteria lunch is far more healthful and balanced than anything children usually select at restaurants.
- Exposes children to risk. What’s safer: sitting in the cafeteria or being in an old hand-me-down car piloted by fellow children rushing to get back to campus before the lunch period ends? Where are children most likely to get in trouble: at school, or in an unsupervised, off-campus environment?
- Longer school day. You have to allow transportation times in open lunch periods. That had to be made up with a longer school day.
The upsides are? Anything? (Do you really believe many children go home during open lunches? Ha ha!)
Having no useful purpose, open lunches are wasteful, expose children to unnecessary risk, and jump start them on debilitating health problems.
Open lunches are a terrible idea.