Have you ever eaten lunch with someone who talks the whole time? It's not easy to eat when all that talking is going on, right? Well, imagine eating silent lunch every day!
This was the case for some students at New York City schools.
Students in New York City’s public schools return to 100% in-person learning for the first time since schools became remote-only in March 2020. But as multiple parents and outlets report, in-person does not mean a return to normal, and may end up harming students just as much as remote learning did.
Karol Markowicz, a New York Post columnist with children in NYC’s public schools, reported the harsh restrictions kids face in the new school year.
“My daughter’s Manhattan middle school won’t be using lockers this year. My sons’ Brooklyn elementary school has let us know that water fountains will remain closed. No group projects, no field trips, no parties. Outdoor recess will be masked and distanced. Forget tag or sports,” Markowicz wrote.
In addition, schools will require students to eat lunch outside, where they will have to sit on the ground. Some schools have forbidden students from talking during lunch.
“One Manhattan elementary school sent parents a survey asking what they should do in case of inclement weather. One of the options was actually ‘skip lunch,’” Markowicz wrote.
When I was in elementary school, there were times that we had silent lunch as a form of punishment as a result of one thing or anyohter. Maybe as a class we were "misbehaving" and therefore the teacher would tell us that we were not allowed to talk at lunch.
Another thing that would happen is that we had a traffic light in our lunchroom that was sensitive to sound. If the noise level started getting high the light would turn yellow to warn us that we were getting too loud and if it got louder, it would turn red and make a noise. If it did that three times, no one was allowed to talk anymore.
Looking back on it, I think it's a ridiculous thing to do. Kids are excitable in elementary school and like to have fun with their friends. Is it really necessary to limit how loud they're allowed to speak? I don't think so. No one ever liked the light except for the teachers so they could enjoy a quiet lunch.