Opinions Differ on Two Lunches

Many members of Dimond High School’s staff and students differ in opinion on whether Dimond should have one or two lunches.

For many years, Dimond has had two lunches: the first lunch is only for freshmen and the second lunch mainly consists of upperclassmen.

The freshman lunch goes from 10:23 to 11:03 a.m. and includes only one service club available for freshmen to attend. The majority of underclassmen stay on campus as they are encouraged to.

Imtiaz Azzam is the freshman house principal, and one of the main personnel in charge of making the decision on whether all students share one lunch or if there will be two lunches. She says that teachers, students and parents all have a chance to place their input into the decision.

According to Azzam, freshman students are allowed to speak their own opinion about lunch at the end of the year.

When asked, freshman Danielle Walker says that she prefers to have a lunch with only the freshmen.

Another freshman said it didn’t matter either way as she goes to her teacher’s classroom to work on homework during lunch.

Freshman Maddi Childers is a part of Student Government, so she has second lunch with the rest of the upperclassmen. She says that it gets lonely sometimes when she is not able to eat with the rest of her class. “I usually end up in Mr. [Lem] Wheeles’ room because there are only five other freshmen in Student Government to hang out with.”

Elizabeth Randall, a senior now, recalls being nervous as a freshman coming to a big school.

“I remember as a freshman being scared of lunch, so having a separate lunch made an already difficult situation easier.”

Many freshmen have mixed opinions and some even have no opinion.

Azzam says that parents are able to email in their own opinions also.

Parents say that they find the transition from middle school, a population of around 600, to high school, population of about 1,700, easier when freshmen have time to adjust on their own.

Azzam also recalls parents being pleased with the safe transition and the encouragement from administrators for freshmen to stay on campus.

Azzam says that allowing freshmen to have their own lunch gives them time to build their own self-confidence and gradually integrate them into high school. They are also able to work one-on-one with teachers of their own grade.

Teachers around Dimond have mixed opinions. Some teachers, such as Joshua Hall, say that having two lunches can cause conflicts with scheduling.

Teachers who have both freshmen and upperclassmen find the situations get tricky when trying to assist all students when there are two different lunches.

Hall also understands why it is important for freshmen to have time to transition.

Antara Brewer has had both freshmen and upperclassmen: she taught AP Language and Composition to juniors, and English I to freshmen. Last year she was teaching two classes to freshmen and three classes to upperclassmen. Having freshman lunch made it difficult for her AP students to come to her for help.

Brewer and Wheeles also commented on the fact that freshmen are not able to get involved in as many clubs as the upperclassmen. This is because it is difficult for teachers and upperclassmen to coordinate a club for two lunches.

Wheeles is in charge of Model UN and says that they are not able to offer the club to freshmen because he has upperclassman lunch.

There are both positives and negatives to having two lunches but the decision remains in the hands of the Dimond administrators, parents and students.