Munching and Sipping in School 

By Emma Shephard, Amayiah Smith, and Braelynn Wilson
Photos by Braelynn Wilson

Emma Shephard is at least drinking over the linoleum…

Eating and drinking in the Fountain Middle School halls, why isn’t it allowed? Hello fellow Students; what are your thoughts on the restrictions on Munching in the hallways? Do you think this rule is reasonable or unfair? Do students abide by this rule? All of these questions are something the majority of people have something to say about at FMS. Our student handbook states:

Students are not permitted to have any type of food or beverages outside of the cafeteria (except water). Students bringing food or drinks other than water outside of the cafeteria will be asked to dispose of the items immediately.

Nathaniel Perez (6th grade) told The Arrow, “We are not allowed to eat in our classrooms unless the teachers give us candy. I think we should be able to eat in the hallways. My friends have eaten in the hallways, and nothing has happened.”

Another 6th grader, Jaedon Davis, also told us about teachers with candy; “We are only allowed to eat when the teacher gives us candy. This rule is a bad rule because of the fact that I always eat in the hallways during passing periods. I’m really, really hungry.” He also hasn’t experienced any consequences from staff for eating in the hallway.

 When we asked Maddy Cowell (7th) if she is allowed to eat in her class, and we got a different response. She told us that Ms. Rodrigues (7th grade ELA) does not allow food in her classroom at all, but “I’m allowed to eat in core 3 and core 4. And I did eat in the halls last year, and no one said anything.” 

Camilla Dominguez (7th) told us that in her Science class, “We can eat – just not sweets, only healthy food. But I don’t think it matters if it can’t get on our fingers.” 

We asked Dominguez about how she feels about the policy of not being allowed to eat and drink anytime in school, and she tells us, “I don’t think that’s fair cause 8th graders eat really early at 11 am. And in the halls, I drink water and eat crackers.”

“We can eat anything besides Takis or sweets. We can eat anything that can’t get on our fingers. Soda must have a bottle with a lid,” said Charlotte Idkinns (7th). 

When we asked Idkinns about the rule of not being allowed to eat in the halls, she followed up with, “That’s dumb because lunch is at 1 pm, and it affects our learning because we are hungry.” 

When asked what classes she can eat in, 8th grader Alissa Richards stated, “Depends what classes most of the time. Any food if they allow food, but in other classes, no food and/or food that doesn’t crumble.” 

Richards followed with, “I think we should be able to eat and drink if we’re hungry. If we don’t eat or drink, we will pass out, and we need hydration.” Richards mentioned that, at one point, she ate in the halls. “The teacher was like, please put that away, no eating in the halls,” which Richards told us she didn’t like.

McKenzie Riley (8th) shared, “I can eat in some classes. It can’t make a mess, and if we have drinks, they must be in a closed container. We are not allowed to share food or water bottles.” 

She added, “It’s not fair some people don’t eat breakfast or lunch, so you should eat because having low blood sugar is a reason to eat or if you’re hungry/ rarely eat school food.” 

Riley also followed up, saying, “I don’t eat in hallways because kids bombard me asking for food, and I only drink water.”

  Ms. Rodrigues (7th grade ELA) said, “I think, for the most part, eating in the hallway is not a big deal. [Students] usually clean up after themselves, but there is always that handful of kids that do not. I think students should help out by cleaning up, even if they did not make the mess – they can help each other out. 

“I allow all but two of my classes [to eat],” continued Ms. Rodrigues. “One of them lost the privilege because they did not clean up after themselves. The other class lost it because they were passing them around, and it became a distraction…. For the most part, my other classes are able to handle having a snack because they are not too loud, or they open it during a time when people are talking, so it is not a disruption.

“I don’t limit what snacks they can have in my other classes, as long as they are snacks. But they can only drink water in my class. They are not allowed to have any juices or colored drinks in my room.”

Ms. Golden (Head Custodian) told us, “When students take food down the halls, it just makes a mess. Crumbs everywhere, wrappers not in the trash. Usually, someone thinks it’s funny to smash a ketchup packet, milk, or applesauce. This also causes stains on the carpet. So now, not only does this cause messes, but it also attracts pests such as ants and/or mice. 

“If it were up to me, food/snacks, anything would only be eaten in the cafeterias. It would be different if kids could be responsible and throw away their trash and pick up after themselves. And I really hate to lump all the kids together because not all kids do this. But the messes are what gets noticed.” 

A longtime 6th-grade ELA teacher, Ms.McKean, told us, “Students are not generally allowed to eat in class. The only thing I allow in class is water – no gum, no candy, no chocolate milk… On occasion, classes earn snack time as a reward for following the social contract “I don’t think it is really a distraction, but it makes the room a mess.”

Ms. Hinds (ESS Teacher) expressed, “I do not allow students to have snacks and food in my classroom unless it is for a reward or at the end of the quarter for a PRIDE event. Today it is the day after Halloween, so I told them they can have candy if they pay me with a piece first. 

“There is an expectation that the floors are clean when they leave. Water and flavored waters are always allowed, but not other drinks. Eating and drinking can cause a large disturbance, as a lot of students play with their water bottles and use them as toys. I have a lot of students who misbehave with them and spray others with water. Eating can cause a disturbance as well, as we don’t allow gum at FMS, and a lot of students smack their food and crinkle the wrappers loudly.”

Ms. Freeman (Business and Marketing Teacher) told us, “Students are not allowed to eat in my classroom unless I give it to them. The only thing they are allowed to consume without my consent is water from a cup/bottle that has a lid or cap. My rules apply to all grade levels.”

Do you think that the food and drink policies are necessary, or do you have a different opinion? Tell us in the comments!

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