Lunch or Class?


Food and trash on the classroom floor

Thomas White

When I walk into a classroom and get to my seat, it is not unusual that I need to clean food off the table. I am also usually paranoid to put my backpack on the floor because I have had my bag soiled from food on the floor. Since then, I have never felt safe in rooms where food and drinks are allowed.
Once class starts, I hear people munching on snacks or eating whole meals, which is distracting for a person trying to learn.
Not only that, I can sometimes smell the grease of the food, which makes me feel sick and want to throw up. Given the various negative consequences it has, this is about time that the school bans food eaten during class or in classrooms.
While I have experienced different classroom policies on food and drinks, most classes I have taken allow students to eat in the rooms.
One thing that frustrates me about people eating food during class is that it becomes extremely distracting. While someone eating quietly in the corner of the room may not disturb me, people often chomp on their food and slurp their drinks when they eat or drink. Someone eating in class usually prompts me to ask for some of their food or makes me hungry, which also disrupts me from learning.
The next problem, which is probably the worst for me, is that the stench of the food can pollute the classroom and make it an uncomfortable place to be in. The odor is particularly a massive issue because I cannot stand the smell of any kind of greasy food such as school lunch or fast food. The foul odor of food often makes me want to vomit and can give me headaches.
The most appalling problem about eating food in classrooms is that it seems as if people in general do not know how to eat without creating a mess or how to clean up after themselves. People dropping food is seen in various places across the whole school. After lunch, there is typically a load of trash and remnants of food on the floor/benches in the hallways and commons. Considering that RB is not a zoo, food should be disposed in proper places, and not all over the floor and rooms.
The worst part of food being all over tables and floors is not that it makes me uncomfortable, but that I have to clean up the mess other people create. When I walk into a class and see food or liquid on my table, it enrages and repulses me. I don’t feel safe to touch things around me.
In general, food and drinks in the classroom make learning and comfort a difficult thing because it can distract students in multiple ways. It is about time that teachers and administrators ban food during class, and at least make them clean it up if they allow it. Even if the school does not implement that, students must make an effort to eat quietly and cleanly. One simple step to avoid making a mess during class is to eat during lunch, and not during class time. Another easy solution is to eat snacks and refreshments before and after class during passing time. Those simple changes would make school life a much more comfortable and pleasurable experience to students who are sensitive to a clean learning environment.