BY ARIELLE CASTAGNA
The bell rings, and students instantaneously flood the hallway. An unofficiated race to the lunch line commences: Dozens of students push and shove their way through the immense crowd, all sharing the goal of being the first to reach the lunch line.
The lunch line lacks rhyme or reason and its disruptive tendencies do not go unnoticed by students. The disorganization of the lunch line has resulted in some students not getting lunch or getting cut in front of on a regular basis.
“By the time you get to the counter, there is none of the food that you got in line for left,” senior Makayala Head says. “Basically you spend a quarter of your lunch break waiting for food you don’t even want.”
CHS is not alone in facing the chaos that comes with lunch in the quad. To rectify their own problems with their lunch line, Carmel Middle School has implemented various measures.
“In order to help with controlling potential chaos, we make sure a staff member is posted at each line location any time food is served,” CMS principal Dan Morgan explains. “Basically, someone is stationed on the outside line and someone on the lines in the cafeteria.”
The principal goes on to explain that staff are asked to watch out for students misbehaving. There is also a CMS rule that prohibits students from ordering for others.
At CHS, the idea of implementing a third lunch line has been discussed as a possible resolution. Assistant principal Debbi Puente says that a third line has been discussed and added, but the length of the lines persists.
“There are long lines, and I have heard from students about their frustrations,” Puente says.
“I think everybody needs to keep complaining about it because [students] are waiting in line until the bell rings,” CHS campus supervisor Tami Hardisty says. “Especially at lunch when everybody’s cramming their food down, they’ve been waiting in line forever. The resolution I think would be is to get a third line, especially since we have more kids.”
It is not unheard of for students, especially freshmen, to get cut in front of or pushed out of the way in school lunch lines. This is a regular occurrence for the lunch line outside of the cafeteria at CHS.
“People cut and push all the time,” freshman Kaitlyn Ajir comments. “The lunch line on the left side inside the cafeteria blocks the door to get in.”
The disproportionate lunch lines are the result of the variance of food inside and outside of the cafeteria. Students who want a certain lunch can not choose which line to stand in, which explains the lack of balance between the two lunch lines.
“The food in the cafeteria doesn’t have the same food as the outside of the cafeteria,” freshman Clare Cook adds.
Other students share similar experiences. A common complaint is missing the whole lunch period due to the line.
“Right when the bell rings for lunch, kids go running to the lunch line,” junior Corina Thrasher says. “The lines are so long that you spend most of your lunch time waiting to get food.”
Many CHS students report sharing similar experiences in the quad. The longevity of the lunch line turns some away, potentially leaving them without a lunch.
“The last time I bought school lunch was last school year,” CHS senior Enrqiue Gonzales comments. “The line has gotten so crazy that I don’t bother anymore.”
Some upperclassmen also report getting cut in line by freshman. In some cases, students cutting in line can pose a risk for things to escalate out of control.
“The lunch line is really out of control recently there have been freshmen that have cut in front of the lunch line every day and the upperclassman who get food got sick of it,” senior Isabella Ramos recalls. “One of the guys that got fed up cussed them out.”