Donate to the Q13 FOX Cares and Les Schwab Holiday Toy Drive

Parents: Seattle school kids are forced to gulp down lunch to get recess

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SEATTLE — Every school day, third-grader Kendall Kapsner has a choice to make — to stay and eat lunch or to go out and play.

“You shouldn’t have to stay in for recess to eat at lunch,” Kendall says.

That’s why mom Deb Escher is hosting a meeting with other concerned parents from Whittier Elementary who say their kids just don’t have enough time for lunch and recess.

Seattle Public Schools admits the lunch and recess period was cut short by 10 minutes this year — kids went from 40 minutes to 30 minutes to eat and play.

According to the district, a bell goes off 15 minutes into lunch, reminding kids they can choose to either go outside and play or stay and finish their meals.

Escher has been documenting the uneaten food her kids bring home.

"Telling the kids that they need to choose between finishing their lunches or getting one of their very short recesses during the day to socialize with friends is not a healthy option for the kids," Escher said.

The district says the school board's policy is for every kid to have 20 minutes to eat. Right now they can have up to 30 minutes - but that means the child would be sacrificing play time.

And while a district representative has been monitoring lunches at Whittier, encouraging kids to finish their meals, parents say the clock runs way too short for kids who have to face those long lunch lines.

"This may be their only opportunity for a free and nutritious meal during the day and those kids only get 5 minutes to scarf it down? Or miss their recess so they have the chance to finish it? That's just inhumane," Escher said.

The concerned parents have started a Facebook page called Lunch & Recess Matter.  You can find the link by clicking here.

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

18 comments

  • The Chinese

    please keep complaining about how much time you have to socialize while your debt to us grows larger and the giant gap of intelligence between American kids and ours grows larger and larger. Bwahhahahhahahahahhha

  • kbrou

    Did you read the article? After standing in long lunch lines for 10 minutes they then have 20 minutes left to eat or play. You probably think the parents of those children (you know, human beings like you and your kids) don’t have any right to expect to earn a living wage at the jobs they do. Or the parents could work three jobs and then help with homework at night, go shopping and prepare a nice nutritious lunch for their child in their free time so they wouldn’t have to wait in the lunch line. Either way, they should be so pathetically grateful that someone is providing them food to eat, you know as CHILDREN, that they should hang their heads and skulk about with no expectation of play time. Karma baby.

    • Melody

      Comparing the children in our schools to those in The Hunger Games negates any validity that might have existed in your comments. I for one would like my kids to have a carefree childhood and not be learning about how “SACRIFICES MUST BE MADE”. They are children for Heaven’s sake!
      People are so obsessed with the food that our children are fed in schools and the obesity in America but don’t stop to think that the time kids spend running, playing, climbing and playing with jump ropes help combat that obesity. Not only that but it helps our kids bodies develop like they should and helps them focus better in the classroom.

  • Jurubiyyanamaa

    As a parents, I have a lot of concern about this so call, “Lunch and Recess programs at Seattle School and please we need to come together and talk.

    Can someone please tell me whether this group have some type of meeting going in Seattle area? If so, how should I able to get their calendar for NOT only just join them, but hopefully get oportunity to share what I was experienced at my child’s school?

    There are some bad thing going on in this program so call, ‘”Lunch and Recess programs at Seattle Schools’ and we need to come togher and talk please.

    I’m looking forward to hear from you all. Thanks for having enough heart to concern about this issues.

  • Jirubiyyanamaa

    As a parents, I have a lot of concern about this so call, “Lunch and Recess programs at Seattle School and please we need to come together and talk.

    Can someone please tell me whether this group have some type of meeting going in Seattle area? If so, how should I able to get their calendar for NOT only just join them, but hopefully get oportunity to share what I was experienced at my child’s school?

    There are some bad thing going on in this program so call, ‘”Lunch and Recess programs at Seattle Schools’ and we need to come togher and talk please.

    I’m looking forward to hear from you all. Thanks for having enough heart to concern about this issues.

  • Sean

    Actually, parents and children today are pathetic. Complain, complain, complain. Today’s parents whine about everything. That’s why millennials are socially inept. Children need to learn life has ups and downs. Children should not have phones and need to learn how to deal with life. Today parents want EVERYTHING given to them and shame on those who don’t feel the same. Keep crying and whining Parents, let your little brats grow up! I’m sick of listening to this generation!!!

  • NEMomOf2

    At least at Whittier they have recess after lunch and can stay and eat if they need to. At my child’s school they get 15 min for lunch (line time included here) AFTER the 15 min lunch recess. Kids come in by class from outside, so older kids have even less time to eat. While children are told they can stay and finish eating their lunch after the bell goes to get to class, they are also being encouraged to be quiet not talk, eat fast, hurry and get to class. Some days my child is lucky to have 5 min to eat at the lunch table.

  • Barb

    It’s not just Seattle, but glad for the media coverage. In the U.P. school district I’ve had my kids lunches swept into the trash by lunchroom workers after my children stood in line for 15 or more minutes to get food. One child is special needs and it’s in the IEP…must have extra time to eat, never happened, but I was only one voice.

  • Concerned parent

    At Whittier, it’s only 15 min. Even though they say kids can stay later, they usually don’t because all the other kids are coming in, and they want to go out and play. They know their recess was made shorter too. I pack my child’s lunch and 90% of it is not eaten at 3pm when I get her. And I’m so done with the whole idea that kids need to learn it early and buck up. Give me a break. We shouldn’t be striving to make life horrible for everyone earlier and earlier so we can all be “strong” or whatever. What kind of people want that for anyone?

  • debescher

    There is a commenter above using my first and last name. I want everyone to be clear that I am the real Deb Escher, and mother representing the concerned Whittier Elementary parent-led Lunch & Recess Matter group. I was NOT me posting in the comments above, and Q13 has been notified and asked to remove this commenter who has no business using my name in these comments. You can find some of my actual comments on our #LunchMatters Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/LunchMatters Thanks for keeping the discussion lively!

  • Mick

    Why would they cut lunch by 10 minutes? Oh, yeah, To work on standardized tests that the state paid millions of dollars for. To hell with the kids. We can’t let that money go to waste.

  • anxiety

    Terrific work! This is the kind of info that are meant to be shared
    across the net. Shame on Google for now not positoning this
    submit higher! Comme on over annd visit my site . Thanis =)