The Argument for Longer Lunch and Hallway Time


Kira Collum, Charlotte Luster, Soeun Moon, Edward An

Kira Collum, Rebecca Yurgelonis, Soeun Moon, Edward An, and Charlotte Luster


Lunchtime and passing time in the hallways have always been too short for students. Multiple complaints have been voiced about how students need a longer lunchtime, more time to socialize, to go to a locker, get supplies needed for class, and still get to class on time. Not to mention the teachers who may need more time to prepare for classes. There are only a brief three minutes of hallway time and only twenty-five minutes of lunchtime. However, there is a solution; time can be correctly and more efficiently re purposed for both the staff and students. Students and staff at Benjamin Franklin Middle School in Ridgewood, New Jersey would ultimately both benefit from having more hallway and lunchtime.

There’s a short twenty-five minutes of lunchtime, and that’s a problem. Students who love to consume food need more time to eat, and a longer lunchtime will certainly help. Students are also stuck inside school all day. The only way for them to get out and breathe in some fresh air is to go outside during recess, which is during lunch period. After eating, it’s really nice for students to be able to exercise, relieve stress, and take a break before going back to the rigors of a long school day. In addition to eating, students also socialize with one another and become familiar with each other. It’s one of the few times throughout school for students to have school-unrelated conversations freely, to make new friends, and to strengthen friendships. With the current amount of time allowed for lunch, this is not easy. One final point to add is that with longer lunchtime, teachers would be able to prepare for classes after lunch and refine/review information from their lessons and how they would teach the next classes after lunch. A longer lunchtime is beneficial to all.  

Students at Benjamin Franklin Middle School not only have a short lunchtime but also have only a brief three minutes to get ready and switch to their next class. This presents a problem for many students throughout the school. Sometimes a student’s classes are pretty close, but many times a student will find themselves having to travel all the way across the school to reach their next class and sometimes arrive late. Some kids have gym and then strings for instance, and have to travel all the way across to the other side of the school. It results in a walk of at least two flights of stairs, and four long hallways. These students practically need a map and a monkey named boots to get them to their next class.

Pressure builds on students because of the need to get to their next class quickly as well. This may cause them to forget class supplies in their lockers and the teacher will most likely be upset with the student for not only being late, but also not having the needed supplies for the lesson. Of course, a student would arrive to class all flustered and late in this situation. Another example where limited time between classes creates a problem is in the case of a student having gym, and having to get to their next class all sweaty, out of breath, and thirsty. Especially in the summertime, this situation gets out of hand with soaking wet and smelly kids walking all around school and in classes. A teacher’s worst fear is having a whole class of students that have just arrived from the gym who ask to get water, to go to the bathroom, and don’t pay attention. These students are like this because they didn’t have time to cool themselves down after a long session of exercising. Ultimately, a longer hallway time would be extremely helpful.

BF Bolt surveyed the students at BF and found many who support longer lunch and hallway time. Teacher’s also weighed in on this topic. Ms. Centrelli said, “I believe students could have extra time for lunch/recess to be more social and have physical activity. An extra minute in the halls can be good for when students need to come from one side of the school to the other. The times ben franklin middle school have now are not bad but they could be a little longer if it works within the school day.”

Currently, there’s limited lunchtime and passing time between periods. As a result, many students are being rushed and feel discomfort. From students have to eat in a swift manner, to those who always end up missing a few supplies for class, to those who cannot communicate with their friends due to a tight time frame in the hallways, the present schedule that Benjamin Franklin Middle School causes many issues. After interviewing BF students, most opinions display that many students feel negative about the schedule. However, there is a solution to this widespread, school issue; the solution is to remove the last three minutes from each class (which are useless anyway as by then, the majority of teachers would have mostly finished with their lesson and teaching), and relocate them to lunch and hallway time. Two minutes each would then go to a longer lunchtime, and one minute from each class would be diverted to hallway time. In total, this would add twelve minutes to lunchtime (a total of 37 minutes), and six minutes to hallway time, with one minute being added to each interval between classes! One fact cannot be disputed: the present schedule is not favored among many people at Benjamin Franklin and is clearly flawed, but this plan can change that.