"Meal-time Miseries" by Lilah Shorey

EDITORIAL: Don’t steal other students’ lunch

As hungry students pile out of classes for their lunch break, some students stay behind for meetings or to ask teachers questions. When they finally exit their classrooms, ready to eat, some find their lunches have disappeared.

That’s right, students are stealing each other’s lunches.

Come on, Cavs, we are better than this.

In a Dec. 1 email, Head of High School Brooke Wells formally asked students to stop taking lunches that don’t belong to them.

But why shouldn’t we take lunches that seem to be left over?

First off, they might not actually be left over. A student could have used the first part of lunchtime to finish up a lab or test and was going to eat a bit later.

That’s exactly what happened to senior Nihal Gulati recently.

Gulati was taking his A.M.C. math test that ended halfway through elective. He then hungrily went to grab his Noodles & Company meal, but to his annoyance, it was gone.

“Noodles & Company is my favorite day of the week, so I was really disappointed that it was taken,” Gulati said.

As a result, Gulati, famished, walked to Loehmann’s Plaza during flex period to buy another lunch to eat.

So, no matter how late in the day it is, do not snag someone’s lunch.

And second, probably the most important: you may have seen Wells walking around with multiple lunches toward the end of lunch.

No, he is not stealing them to eat in his office.

In an attempt to reduce theft, Wells has been storing unclaimed lunches in his office. Throughout the afternoon, Wells personally looks for these students to ask them if they want their lunches.

Now what does the school do with the unclaimed lunches?

At the end of each day, but mostly on pizza days, Wells takes the leftover lunches to the homeless living on Watt Ave. and Fair Oaks Blvd.

“It may not solve the homeless crisis, but it will definitely make the next four hours more pleasant,” Wells said.

So don’t think taking leftovers will prevent waste. You are serving a better cause if you leave them. Especially during a pandemic, when the job market is tough, the homeless will really appreciate this extra and possibly only meal of the day.

If you truly don’t have anything to eat, you have two options.

If you go to receptionist Erica Wilson in the main office, she will give you a noodle soup. It may not be that healthy or nutritious, but it will tide you over until the end of the day.

Your second option is to take a leftover lunch. Don’t get too excited, though. Before swiping someone’s lunch, you must confirm with Valerie Velo that the person who’s lunch you’re taking is actually absent.

But why hasn’t theft been a problem in previous years?

Before, all lunches were stored in the Multipurpose Room where they were monitored and passed out by lunch coordinator Jennifer Adams.

However, the coronavirus terminated this system and led to labeled lunches being set out on a table in front of the Matthews Library without supervision.

It was the school’s vision that students would be responsible enough to take only what has their name on it.

Wells hopes that with constant reminders, students will only take what is theirs, and this theft problem will be eliminated. If the problem isn’t resolved, Wells plans to have a teacher monitor and pass out lunches again, but that resulted in long lines.

To sum it up, every new Country Day high schooler receives a wooden egg that hatches when they graduate. But for the egg not to break, students must be kind and respectful.

So don’t steal lunches, and keep your eggs intact!

Originally published in the Dec. 14 edition of the Octagon.

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