Opinion Brief

Should middle schoolers get single-sex lunch periods?

Some Kansas campuses are separating boys and girls at lunch to keep the focus on eating rather than socializing

Schools in Kansas have found a way to put an end to traditional middle school lunch side dishes like teasing, rough-housing, and flirting: Separate lunches for boys and girls. Three middle schools in Wichita have instituted a gender-segregated lunch system, and principals says it's helping students eat and behave better. Is separating the sexes at lunch really a good idea?

Yes, it's calmer and less wasteful: With the separate lunch, kids are actually eating, rather than chattering away and fretting about impressing the opposite sex, says Michael Archibeque, a principal at a middle school with separate lunches, as quoted by Reuters. That means less wasted food, better behavior, and fewer hungry tummies later in the day. "It was sick [before] to watch kids throw away whole plates of food."
"Kansas schools try separate lunches for sexes"

And the kids seem to like it: Strange as it may sound, it seem the kids actually like having these separate lunches, says Ben Palosaari at the Kansas City Pitch. One principal even notes how she tried to use co-ed lunches as prizes for fundraising and the students weren't interested. "Kids today, I tell ya! They might be eating their lunches, but they'll surely be dateless in their freshman year."
"Wichita kids would rather eat with their own gender, thank you very much"

Wait, kids need to socialize: I can't get behind this, says Jeanne Sager at The Stir. Schools are supposed to prepare our children for adulthood, "both academically and socially," and this sort of segregation "has no application in the real world." The idea that kids aren't chattering away and socializing at lunch doesn't seem like a good thing to me. "It sounds clinical," sad, and "socially retarding." After all, "it's in the teen years when male/female interactions begin to take on real meaning."
"Segregated school lunch today, 40-year-old virgins tomorrow"

Recommended

6 outstanding homes built in the 1940s
House
Feature

6 outstanding homes built in the 1940s

The Check-In: 2022's best and worst airports, and more
Airplanes.
Feature

The Check-In: 2022's best and worst airports, and more

The Week contest: Walker robber
A man with a walker.
Feature

The Week contest: Walker robber

Is plant-based meat a failure?
A plantburger.
Briefing

Is plant-based meat a failure?

Most Popular

Once-a-decade critics' poll names greatest film ever
Movie theater
we come to this place for magic

Once-a-decade critics' poll names greatest film ever

Home of Iranian climber who competed without hijab reportedly destroyed
Rekabi in interview
Iran protests

Home of Iranian climber who competed without hijab reportedly destroyed

Houston police arrest 2 in connection with killing of Migos rapper Takeoff
Migos rapper Takeoff memorial billboard
'an innocent bystander'

Houston police arrest 2 in connection with killing of Migos rapper Takeoff