Janesville44.9°

Lunchtime limits on school board agenda

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FRANK J. SCHULTZ
December 11, 2007
— Their parents probably know. After all, it was one of the reasons some of them voted to expand the city’s high schools in last year’s referendum.

But kids being kids, they probably didn’t notice.


Monday night, one of them asked. Parker High School senior Sherri Goff brought it up during a question-and-answer session with the Janesville School Board.


The session was arranged so the students could fulfill a civics requirement.


Would the board consider ending the longtime policy of letting students leave campus for lunch? Goff asked.


“I think closed lunch is coming as soon as we get these buildings renovated,” said board member Kevin Murray.


About 50 students in the Parker library seemed stunned.


It’s assumed that at least the ninth-graders will be kept on campus for lunch, to help them weather the difficult transition from middle to high school, said board member Debra Kolste.


“If I had my way, every kid would stay on campus for lunch,” said board member Amy Rashkin.


As a possibly overprotective parent, “I want you safe. I want to know where you are,” Rashkin said.


The students sat in stony silence.


Board member Todd Bailey tried to cheer them up: Would they like McDonald’s and Taco Bell in the cafeteria?


One student in a back row called out: “Food court!”


Afterward, Goff said the students’ silence was a sign of their deep opposition to limiting lunchtime freedom.


Goff was thoughtful, though. She didn’t like the idea of fattening fast food on the menu.


“We don’t see that we need nutrition, but we do,” she said. “We should bring in Subway.”


The good news for the juniors and seniors in the room was that they will graduate in time to escape the new rules.



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