Home > Community > General Parenting

Talking during lunch in Elementary school


S_Graalum January 4, 2012

We moved to a new state and my girls are upset because they can't talk during lunch? I've never heard of this and it seems crazy to me. I could understand if the kids are wasting food and not eating perhaps or maybe there's clique issues in 3-4th grades (our ES is K-4). We are in an affluent area so while brattiness may be an issue, I can't imagine the behavior during lunch would be any different than during recess. (Also, the teacher lines the kids line up and they must eat next to the person in line. So if your buddy from 1st grade isn't in the same class when your in 2nd grade there's no chance of sitting next to him/her.) I never thought to ask when looking for a school whether the kids could talk during lunch.

Post a reply
Facebook  Digg 


Sort by:  Oldest first |  Newest first 


shopfor3 January 17, 2012

at home, we encourage conversation during meal time and then they go to school and being suppressed to do this. as a lunchroom mom, it hurts to see all the children being shut up during lunch. the parents and even some teachers i know are furious about this policy but the principal is not backing down. so we left the school for so many other reasons. one of the first comments my children made about their new school is, "we can talk all we want at lunch!" and so they had been coming home with stories from lunch and or recess. it feels good to know that they are able to speak freely even for just 30 minutes of their school day.


dansgma May 29, 2013

The first few weeks of 2nd grade my grandson was crying everyday about school. He had no adjustment problems in PreK, K, or 1st grade. We found out it was the lunch teacher screaming at them for talking at all. Also she read them a story and expected them to take the AR quiz on the book. So I attended lunch with him and heard her tell them to "shut their mouths". I addressed it with her but she gave the lame excuse that lunches cost more and they need to eat all their food. Actually her screaming was worse than the chatter of the kids. Also, his teacher would make the kids that didn't finish their papers to take them outside for recess and line up against the wall while the other children were playing. We're leaving this school!


BUCKRULES August 4, 2013

Wow! Everyday with no talking. I know in elementary school and even in middle school sometimes when the lights went out you had to be quiet and get in a seat so garbage could be thrown away and dismissal could happen but I have never heard of not being able to talk at all. I would inquire the reasons for this.


user5009972 November 21, 2014

This has been an issue at my children's elementary school for years. Silent time has been required the first 10 minutes and then the last 10 minutes for clean-up during a 30 minute lunch period. Students are not excused to get into the lunch line until the table is quiet. If they talk while in line in the area where the servers are, they are asked to go to the end of the lunch line and start over. Parents need to advocate for talking during this very important time of day for developing social skills, turn-taking in conversation, making friends. Goodness, I wonder if the school staff would enjoy testing out their rule by doing a week of silent time in the teacher lounge while seated with their colleagues around the lunch table. Our school has even gone so far as to not allowing students to move up the school level system and/or make them go to a back table for TALKING during silent times. Parents need to speak up!


user4775464 February 2, 2015

We are having this very issue in the Chatham County school system. What are they teaching kids by controlling every single aspect of their day? Do the teachers sit silently in their break room or do they chit chat? When executives take others to lunch is this not one of the most important skills to master-communication while enjoying a meal? Restaurant? No where else would we expect silence to equate with eating. Social skills are learned.


user5009972 March 7, 2015

Not being able to talk during lunch is also happening at our elementary school and middle school in Charles County public schools in Maryland. I have inquired about it on numerous occasions at the elementary school level and I have heard that the lunch period is short and for efficiency purposes, they need to have the beginning of lunch be silent as well as the end. It is ridiculous and I wonder how many administrators and teachers sit around their lunch room without talking to each other after working hard all morning. Not only are they requiring the silence, but I have heard many times of students being punished for whispering or talking during this "silent" time in the cafeteria. I even went so far as to send an email to the superintendent and have not heard a thing from her. This is just one of my frustrations with Charles County public schools as far as how they handle student behavior. Seriously, in a county that claims to be PBIS, I am hearing about a lot more punishment than positive intervention supports! It would behoove the administration to actually train the teachers on using current behavior management practices. Perhaps the lunch room would be a happier place for all with a little creativity and work put forth into allowing socialization!

Search Community