As high school students, I believe we should all be given the opportunity to choose when and where we can eat or drink during the school day. Sure, some students cannot learn efficiently while eating or drinking during class, however, others may find that eating in class doesn’t affect their ability to focus at all. And others may even find that eating and drinking during class enhances their academic performance, and provides them with a comfortable learning environment. Regardless, it is our own responsibility to discover what type of students we are and what type of learning environment best suits my academic needs. What will allow me to best thrive in the classroom? We’ve reached an age in which these questions must be answered, and it is up to us to test these waters. An administrator should not have the power to declare that eating is prohibited in his or her classroom, because in doing so, they’re inherently answering that question on behalf of their students.
Personally, I’m the type of student who would pull out a snack during each and every class period. I get hungry often during the school day, and find it both uncomfortable and difficult to study on an empty stomach. From getting to school at 8:30, there’s a 4 hour and 45 minute time gap until our 1:15 lunch period. Especially for students who don’t always have time to eat breakfast, it’s likely that most people will get hungry sometime within that 5 hour hiatus. Hunger isn’t something that we can always control or predict. The 5 minutes we have between each period is most likely not going to be the time frame in which students realize that they are hungry; hunger will hit most students while they are sitting in class. From personal experience, I know that sitting through class and waiting for the bell to ring, just so that I can get a quick snack, is not an ideal way to learn. It’s distracting, both physically and mentally; it causes fatigue and occupies one’s thoughts. Every student should be able to eat or drink, whenever their bodies dictate, regardless of what class they’re in. Additionally, I find that placing restrictions on eating, a basic human necessity, makes school seem much too prison-like. We have to go to school every day, so we may as well not resent it. Eating during class can offer many students a comfortable learning environment, renouncing the grim and forbidding stereotype of school in general. Lastly, one can argue that eating in class can distract other students around them, and is therefore a threat to the overall atmosphere of the classroom. However, as I previously mentioned, hunger is something that cannot be controlled, and therefore eating should be permitted anywhere and everywhere, despite who it may distract. For example, anxiety and boredom, which many students experience during class, cannot be controlled either. As a result of anxiety and boredom, many students tend to develop habits such as leg bouncing and doodling. While these actions can distract students around them, it is how their body naturally responds to these feelings, and it is solely through those actions that certain individuals are able to learn comfortably during class. Eating, a natural response to hunger, should not be treated any differently.
Overall, I believe that high school students should be given all the tools required in creating a suitable learning environment for themselves. Prohibiting eating and drinking in class not only interferes with that ability, but it gives school a rather unfriendly connotation. I believe that eating in class is not only a right, but a learning necessity for many students.