Combined A/B Lunches Spoil Early Release


Lexy Simpson

After years of having combined lunches on Early Release days, administrators changed it so that it could accommodate an A/B schedule.

Matthew Centner, Editor

While Oshkosh North had a combined lunch on Sept. 15, the school year’s first early release, there hasn’t been one since, and the schedule implemented after the first early release suggests the students of North will never have combined lunch again.

I have yet to meet a student that agrees with the change. Early Release days, pep rallies, and other special event days were some of the only times where students could have lunch with all of their friends. 

Now that privilege no longer exists. 

A/B lunch is restrictive, while combined lunches have more freedom because being in A or B lunch does not guarantee that students can sit with their friends. They might have to sit with a small group of people, or even by themselves, which may make students feel lonely. 

Lunchtime is an especially important time to socialize. Teenagers thrive when they can mix with one another. Many students don’t share classes with their friends, and even when they do, they can’t communicate with one another because class time is a time to learn. Lunchtime is the opposite. So why has the luxury of being able to socialize during our small chunk of free time been robbed from the students of Oshkosh North?

Jacquelyn Kiffmeyer, the principal of Oshkosh North High School, says that the lunches were separated due to the limited space combined lunches provided.

“We have always disliked having a single lunch for over 1,100 kids,” she says. “There is limited space to safely eat and not a lot of time to get kids in and out of the lunchroom safely.”

Most students believe that further combined lunches were canceled due to a fight that occurred on Sept. 15, though. Students and teachers were involved, and some teachers received injuries. Regardless of who started or why, I believe it is unfair to hold the whole school accountable for the infractions of a few students. Most upperclassmen definitely agree with me.

Kiffmeyer’s response only mentions the lunchroom capacity limitations, but many students go off campus for lunch, and sometimes groups of students during combined lunch walk or drive to get food. In addition to this, combined lunch is a time when students can meet with teachers to discuss grades and assignments. While a congested lunchroom isn’t ideal, students are more likely to go off campus for lunch with their friends. When eating without friends, it just makes more sense to stay inside. Plus, combined lunches on early release days have happened for years, and nothing appeared to be wrong with them until the fight occurred.  

I have discussed this with several students in all grades, and nobody has told me that they agree with the change. Many students blame the fight, but personally, I don’t think there’s anyone to blame for this; after all, the separation of lunches doesn’t mean that it will always be that way. Now that students have had separate lunches for a few months, we know now that we should cherish combined lunches and we can learn from what happened to separate them. 

Therefore, I – and many other students – would appreciate having a combined lunch during Early Release again. It’s a great opportunity to see friends, talk with teachers, and just have some fun. It’s an opportunity to de-stress from schoolwork, and that’s something everyone needs sometimes.