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To think that school children (secondary) shouldn't be allowed to lave school at lunchtime

(93 Posts)
BeeInYourBonnet Fri 07-Mar-14 07:17:36

I drive past my local shops at lunchtime every day, and without fail the chip shop, bakery and kebab shop are full of children from the local secondary school. Its not unusual to see up to 50 teenagers, and when I've been close enough to see (when I am stopping at shops too) they are all without fail eating big pizza slices, pasties, chips, or kebabs. Almost one has a plastic tray of some kind, full of greasy food.

When I was a teenager, we weren't allowed out of school at lunchtime without a note from parents saying we were going home for lunch. When did this stop, and isn't letting kids eat shit at lunchtime contributing to obesity and reinforcing bad eating habits, when actually secondary school is a time when we can make one last ditch attempt to encourage good eating habits?

SeaSickSal Sat 08-Mar-14 15:17:09

They're not necessarily eating it every day.

And anyway, they are at an age where soon they will be choosing ALL of their own food. They should have the freedom to make decisions so they can learn how to make responsible ones.

Dawndonnaagain Sat 08-Mar-14 15:11:44

For heaven's sake. Some teenagers go out occasionally. Some everyday. Some never. So, if yesterday you had seen one of my dds outside the chippy, it would have been the one and only time this term. Some of them go over there for birthday treats, but it's a biggish sixth form and you can't tell which are regulars and which aren't. And so what, they're out of school, generally it's sixth form and above, if they'd left at sixteen and gone to work, they'd be out. So bloody what!

WorrySighWorrySigh Sat 08-Mar-14 13:01:18

I am not the greatest supporter of schools but:

- why cant students have a break, why do they have to be doing something useful all the time?
- when are staff supposed to get a break if they are supposed to be filling breaks with 'activities'

What I detect on this thread is a distinctly anti-teenager slant from posters who seem to think that teenagers should be caged.

cory Sat 08-Mar-14 12:52:29

I quite often leave the premises of my workplace and go for a walk in the neighbourhood to stretch my legs and switch off for 20 minutes. I didn't realise there was something wrong with this because every single moment in my life must have a point. Or is it only teenagers' life that must be filled to the brim with "point".

I should add that I sometimes spend my leisure time on mindless activities too: watch non-educational telly, read non-improving books or just stare mindlessly into space. Is that all right now that I've turned 50?

I agree with the earlier poster who mentioned the need to get teens used to gradual small steps of independence.

MoreBeta Sat 08-Mar-14 12:39:26

I wish my school banned the pupils going out a lunchtime. It really does no good at all. They hang around in town, they could be doing something useful at school.

They are only there 8.30 am - 3.50 pm. Why on earth does a child need to go out in that time?

My strong suspicion is that the staff just want as many children off campus as possible outside lesson times so they don't have to do anything with them.

Dining facilities need to be upgraded and kids given something to do - not turfing them out to roam the high street and eat junk food.

BlueberryWoods Sat 08-Mar-14 12:33:44

We were in a small café recently, the manager came over and said " I'm really sorry but it's going to get very noisy in a moment as the school kids are coming into get there lunch". They pre-order sandwiches, baked potatoes and soups. A whole load of school children came in, lined up chatting quietly, got their food and left. Stood outside and ate it. You hardly knew they were there. Afterwards not a scrap of litter in sight. One girl sat down at a table inside and a coffee with her gran. All very civilised. But it was an expensive private school. I suppose the school would have serious words with the kids if anyone was to complain about behaviour.

TeacupDrama Sat 08-Mar-14 11:22:03

reasons they leave

1.canteen only seats 400 school has 1000 pupils
2. they do not like school lunches either not enough food or poor choices or it runs out so you are left with odd combinations like mash, cold slice of pizza and bread or rice and cheese and baked beans
3. they want free choice
4. there is better food elsewhere
5, they just want a break from school with their mates

in our town 1 private secondary not allowed out but food is great 3 course hot lunch 2 choices baked potatoes and salad/sandwich bar ( thye have boarding house all same catering company

the state secondary is very good S1 have to stay in but S2-6 can go out and most do lunches are OK but canteen too small and if you are last the choice is unbalanced and rubbish ie there is rice left but no curry/chilli to go on top

Lottiedoubtie Sat 08-Mar-14 11:11:38

Often they don't stay in school for very good reasons:

The school food is worse.
The canteen is too overcrowded they'd spend 30 mins of their 40 min break queuing and then what the wanted would have run out.
They want a change of scenery.
They want to feel 'free and independent' - small steps to independence are rightly very important to this age group.

Bonsoir Sat 08-Mar-14 10:55:25

School canteens are dire. Forcing DC to eat at school is not great.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sat 08-Mar-14 10:52:10

My issue is I don't understand why they don't just stay in school.

They get a short break (most schools dont even have an hour) and in that time they walk up to the shop and get some food. How is that different from people in offices walking out to get their lunch? At least they will have walked. Dont you see the irony that you had driven past them?

TillyTellTale Sat 08-Mar-14 09:47:42

Does everything in your day have a point?

What's so wrong with having a short walk, a change of scenary, and something to eat?

I am a mature student, doing night school. The adults demand a break during each class (the week's lesson is three hours long) and we all troop down to the shop, buy shite food and coffee and troop back up, feeling revived.

BeeInYourBonnet Sat 08-Mar-14 08:57:52

My issue is I don't understand why they don't just stay in school.

I don't see the point of them being 'let out', just to eat piles of shite food.

WorrySighWorrySigh Fri 07-Mar-14 19:53:46

So is your issue that they had nowhere to sit, that there were lots of them or that they were eating junk food?

Or is the real issue their age?

hamptoncourt Fri 07-Mar-14 18:49:54

What is the difference though as if they had to have a note saying they were going home for lunch, they could just go home and eat shit.

Where I live very few secondary school kids would have a SAHM waiting for them every day at lunchtime wearing a pinny and dispensing healthy lunches. The kids would just come home and raid the biscuits and crisps.

BeeInYourBonnet Fri 07-Mar-14 18:30:40

Sorry I posted and ran - busy day.

Stopped at shops earlier for some milk, and met a bunch of young teens (13?) carrying 3 bottles of coke and 3 giant bags of dorritos and a load of sweets. Then weaved through about 20 teenage boys with bags of chips and coke from the chippy.

I used to be allowed home for lunch in primary but had no money, so i pretty much had to go home if I wanted to eat.

I know the junk food probably doesn't matter in the long run, but I do find it quite depressing seeing kids sitting on kerbs downing a litre of coke and scoffing cheesy chips, a pasty and a donut. And believe me I'm no health freak!

I left school in 2006, we were allowed out from the word go, up til Y9 I think, you needed a note saying you were allowed to leave the premises.

I lived on chips, pasties, doughnuts and sweets - took most of my GCSE's fuelled by nothing more than sweets.

I made bad choices then, and am paying for it now, so do think it wasn't exactly a great idea for us to be left to our own devices... <pokes rather large stomach>

Finola1step Fri 07-Mar-14 17:28:18

FLM oh yes, the newsagents right next to the school selling cigs to school kids in their uniform. I remember the singles stashed under the counter.

And if course the bunking off after lunch.

WorrySighWorrySigh Fri 07-Mar-14 17:26:43

While I get that some people might feel intimidated because there is a group of teenagers but that is hugely different from them actually being intimidated IYSWIM.

One of my colleagues always grumbles about the number of retired people in the post office when she goes out at lunch time.

I dont see it as hugely different.

It is easy to be annoyed by people who you think should be more considerate and keep out of your way because you dont perceive them as having a right to be where they are.

I will agree that the littering is wrong. A big step forward would come if the shop keepers would provide adequate bins.

bemusedisnottheword Fri 07-Mar-14 17:24:23

ukatlast I'm certainly not wrong about dc not being allowed off school premises at lunchtime. It's one of the school rules! I'm glad to be honest. Ds old school used to let them out and ds never used to come back, bunked off a lot.

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Fri 07-Mar-14 17:22:19

We don't let anyone out unless their parents sign to say they are supervising them over lunchtime. Of course, a lot of these parents have no intention of doing so and just let their kids wander up to the fish shop - so we withdraw the pass and they complain...

fatlazymummy Fri 07-Mar-14 17:16:35

Another child of the 70's here.
We were allowed off the school premises - in fact for a while everyone had to leave during lunch time as the teachers worked to rule.
From age 15 I didn't really have lunch - we used to spend our dinner money on fags, which the local newsagents happily sold to us without ever questioning our age.

Finola1step Fri 07-Mar-14 17:02:57

I left school in 1990. All were allowed out at lunch except the year 7s. Looking back, the school simply didn't have the facilities to cater for 600 girls at lunch.

Some used to go to the chip ship. Some went home. My friends and I would go to the local bakers and get freshly made sandwiches/ rolls and soup. So on balance, probably better than the pizza and chips served at school.

My ds is only 6. But I don't think I want him roaming the streets from Year 7. But I do think its extreme to not allow the year 11's out.

cricketballs Fri 07-Mar-14 16:59:01

The first secondary school I worked at was in the middle of a large housing estate and students were allowed to 'go home' if they had parents permission. It's amazing how many had permission and didn't go home but the local chippy! My current school only 6th form are allowed off site, but we are close to 2 other secondary schools, many of our students are from out of the area so it makes sense

Catloverandmum Fri 07-Mar-14 16:55:26

My dc's school used to allow them out in y11, it was too far to walk home for my two but DD used to go to the greggs at the top of town once a week and DS used to walk to my BIL's house to walk his dog and make a sandwich which is next door to their old school.

In 6th Form DD was very often on a "study period" before lunch so would walk home at break and then go back during lunchtime for 4th period. She'd make herself a sandwich or a tin of soup.

Never did either of them any harm. Both have graduated from University with good degrees, and can make healthy choices about food in adult life.

cory Fri 07-Mar-14 15:12:07

Surely in loco parentis means just that: being in the place of the parent, doing the job they would be doing if they were there.

As a parent, I don't watch over my teenager 24/7, I do allow him out unaccompanied, I don't hover over him when he goes to the shops.

So if these people are standing in for me, I don't have a problem with them letting him out occasionally. It is for me to to teach him to eat sensibly.

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