Challenge to: Eating in class


Wendy Montejano

¨No food allowed in class! Throw it away or leave it on the desk by the door,¨ some Ventura High School teachers say when I bring food or drinks into their classroom. However, I believe that students should be able to eat and drink during class.

When teachers tell students they can’t eat in class, many respond with things like, ¨I’m running late, and didn’t get time to eat,” or “I was up studying all night,¨ which reflects what students go through on a daily basis.

For me, when I don’t eat before class all I can do is think about food. As a matter of fact, I’ve noticed that when I don’t eat, I can’t concentrate and I get distracted very easily.

According to Dr. Julie Schwartzbard, a board-certified neurologist and graduate from The University of Pennsylvania, ¨Many studies have shown the negative effects that hunger has on school-aged children and young adults. Hunger is tied directly to low blood sugar, which quickly leads to fatigue and low energy levels.”

Although teachers might argue that eating in class is distracting, students can always eat in silence to prevent in-class disruptions. I personally believe that if students had something small to snack on during class, that they could improve academically.

In addition, a lot of my teachers tell me to think outside the box, especially my Spanish teacher. During my Spanish class though, I always think about food instead of the context or meaning of what we had just read. This is all because I didn’t have time to eat in the morning, so I’m hungry during class.

Jennifer Brozak, a graduate from The University of Pittsburgh, states that “Giving students a break to allow them to eat a healthy snack or food can help them concentrate and feel re-energized. In addition [to this,] food or snacks can help students perform better on standardized tests.” This proves that students can improve the qualities that teachers require them to have during class such as remembering, problem solving, etc.

Teachers, parents and administration, I understand that you want the best for students. At times you get really frustrated with students and them give speeches about their grades and how important it is to be successful in life. You say there’s no excuses for them to have low grades, but if students were in a position where they could eat during class, the skills required from them would be performed to their best ability.

Last but not least, VHS claims that their main priority is their students well being, both emotionally and physically. However, what VHS staff members don’t seem to understand is that if we skip meals, or are hungry and have to wait until nutrition or lunch to eat, students could potentially acquire health problems.

Schwartzbard also stated that “If [students] don’t eat enough calories for [their] bodies needs, then [their] blood-glucose levels drop too low. The brain not receiving enough glucose causes most symptoms of hypoglycaemia, which include: headaches, migraines, confusion, nausea, sweating, faintness and hypothermia.” This means that students all have different body types and each body needs a certain amount of calories. If students don’t nourish their bodies properly while at school, it can deteriorate their health.
For example, when I don’t eat I get headaches, and I stay at school just so I don’t get behind in any of my classes. Even then though, it gives me a lot of stress to be in class because my head will hurt so much that it will prevent me from learning.

Overall, I believe that students should be allowed to eat and drink during class so they can concentrate on the material that’s being taught and not jeopardize their health. Administration is also always cracking down on students who ditch class to go to the store or Taco Bell, so if students were allowed to eat during class, they would probably ditch class a lot less.

Furthermore, if we aren’t healthy and trying our best in school, we aren’t showing all that a cougar can give at Ventura High School.