Ida’s Insights: Lunch Bell Loonacy

Ida Sjodin

It has been a mystery to many, both students and teachers, what the true meaning of the lunch bells are. Some say that the first bells mark the start of lunch, while some say that students should wait until the second bell. The mystery surrounding the meaning of these lunch bells has caused a lot of conflict between students and teachers, especially since many of us are let to lunch five minutes later than everyone else.

Strangely, this issue seems to have hit the math building especially hard. It seems that a lot of math teachers have been told that the second bell is when students should be let out to lunch. This, along with the fact that math is the farthest from the main building, means that math students are always late to lunch. 

When we are let out on the second bell, my classmates and I are always at the end of the line or eating the options left behind. The easily accessible foods like the pizza and salad bar options run low after those five minutes, and the line for the hot lunch often stretches beyond the registers. It’s not very appealing to stand in that line, especially when you’re already late for lunch. 

The lunch bells themselves don’t need to be changed. They are very convenient compared to the systems used in other schools (especially the middle schools). But when no one really knows what they mean, no one can use the bells correctly. Maybe a clarifying PA announcement would fix this problem, but this depends on which lunch bell ends up being for the students going to lunch. I think that some teachers might still let us out five minutes early, which is why I think that the second bell should only mark the end of passing time, and people going to lunch should leave on the first bell.

When we have first lunch, we don’t go to our classrooms, wait a few minutes for the second bell, then leave. So why wouldn’t this also apply to the later lunches? Not to mention, there are many more people in the hallways before first lunch, since all of the students are moving to their next class, so it’s not a “too many people” problem. Sure, everyone isn’t concentrated around the lunch areas, but there are around three times as many students moving after the bell to first lunch.

I always dread the days when I know that I will be late for lunch. And when I get there, I see the lunch at the front of the line snaking out of the kitchen area as someone grabs the last slice of pepperoni pizza. If everyone is told to leave on the first bell, we would have more time to eat, and a shot at being closer to the front of lunch lines. This would increase the fairness of the current system of lunches, and leave a lot more students satisfied.