Half The Time, Half The Good?

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Abby Houghton, Editor in Chief

This year East has had a lot of new changes; one of those is the new lunch times. Instead of going to the cafeteria when it is your lunch break, you can either go to the LMC, the gym, or outside (the game rooms if there is bad weather) for 20 minutes and only get 20 minutes of eating in the cafeteria. Some kids have free time first, then lunch, others have it vice versa. This grouping is by whatever teacher you have your hour before lunch.
Why? In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID, the staff at East choose to do this so that we could better socially distance. Natalie Beehler ’25 supports this. She wishes she didn’t have to do it and agrees that it is half as good, but thinks that during COVID it is necessary.
6th grader Gregory Morgan doesn’t know what East Middle lunches used to look like, but he says that he wishes that kids could have more people to a table. “It is so hard to be with friends because they have to have the same teacher as you, and be able to sit with you, I really don’t like that”
Beehler agrees. She goes to the gym and while she likes it, she misses her “friends at lunch. The ones that aren’t in my group, I don’t get to see” She wishes that we could pick whether we had lunch first or last. Beehler also hates that there is a four person table rule, “I can’t sit with all my friends, we need two tables, side-by-side”.
Not everyone agrees with Morgan and Beehler though. Saydi Kiley ‘26 is new to EMS, but she really likes the lunch time. Unlike Beehler and Morgan, Kiley thinks that the system should stay. “20 minutes is long enough to eat. I also like that we get to have half lunch and half a mask break.”
The sticks are a very controversial subject. Some students, including Kiley think that they are helpful. “They let the teacher know where we are”. And that is true. They limit the amount of kids in one area, but they also can cause chaos and crowding. “Getting rid of the sticks is the first step to a better system” Beehler says. “Everyone pacts together to get them. It destroys the point of social distancing”
Lunch may be disagreed on, but one thing seems clear, it is made to help social distance kids and I don’t think that it is going away anytime soon.