Food For Thought On Cafeteria Conduct

Toss around the idea of growing up instead of tossing lunch around the cafeteria.


Liliyana Colon, Staff Writer

Ever felt the urge to throw bits of food across the room? For most people, the answer is No! But…for some, it’s a commanding YES!—and, it’s an urge they follow through on.

Students at Elkhart High School recently have been ducking and dodging to avoid flying food and becoming collateral damage. It’s not necessarily happening cafeteria-wide–or during all of the lunch periods–but those tables who are doing this have been doing so for two years now. And, quite honestly, it’s become tiresome to the rest of their classmates who grew out of that middle school mentality long ago. Throwing food could be seen as harmless. But, when the cafeteria floors are blanketed with apple slices and tomatoes, these children need to wake up and realize that there are people who have to clean up after them. Lord knows those who throw the food have no intention of doing so!

Some students blame the administration for not paying enough attention to what’s going on. Administrators, on the other hand, claim they haven’t witnessed any issues–and that students in the cafeteria have been acting better than ever. But, the only ones truly culpable are those actually throwing food around. The students who have been in the crossfire agree. Sophomore Corbin Sarber spoke on the topic saying, “Were not in 4th grade anymore; this is childish!” He then vocalized, “I have sat at the same table the whole year so far, but I had to move to the opposite side of the room to avoid the immature people throwing food.” Students shouldn’t have to migrate to the other side of the cafeteria to keep clear of the people who aren’t acting civilized. This isn’t a zoo; it’s a high school!

Playing with food isn’t the only cafeteria issue students struggle with at Elkhart High School, either. There also seems to be an abundant amount of trash left behind from students when they finish their lunches. While the majority of students do clean up after themselves, there’s still a select few who leave their trash every time and make no effort to pick it up unless asked multiple times by the custodians and cafeteria staff. Trashing the cafeteria isn’t an entitlement. It’s simply uncivilized.

Likewise, there has been some uncivilized behavior in the food lines themselves. The food lines in the cafeteria are nowhere near short–but, most in line should be applauded for their patient and courteous behavior. More and more frequently, though, a student feels he or she doesn’t need to show respect to staff. These few act out, becoming very rude. But, the wonderful cafeteria workers know how to deal with it, handling the situations with grace. The cafeteria staff works extremely hard to prepare, heat, and serve a variety of foods; they also make sure students have a clean place to eat, among many other courtesies. They don’t deserve the disrespect that some students show them. As stated, most students don’t have a problem with being kind to the staff, and they highly appreciate all they provide. It’s the few bad apples that spoil it for the rest of the lunch bunch.

Listen up, EHS: We may be the Lions, but we certainly are not zoo animals. Those who act as if they are either need to grow up immediately and start acting their age–or they may want to consider enrolling in the Potawatomi Zoo Academy. Toss that idea around instead of your food!