Several hundred parents in the West York School District are pushing back against proposed changes to the school-day. The district wants to add an 80-minute block of time in the middle of the day for students to eat, participate in clubs, and get extra time with teachers.
Jennifer Myers, a West York parent, is worried about her daughter.
“The overwhelming thought that was going through my head was this is not going to work with the West York school population,” said Myers. “We have constant bullying. This year alone, they color coded the bathrooms because there was such a lack of responsibility when going to the bathroom.”
She’s not alone. As of Tuesday 540 people have signed a petition against the program. Under Lunch and Learn students would have almost an hour and a half of free-time during the day with no required daily tasks.
“They are going to have the access to one another for 80 minutes. And I don’t think students will be safe,” said Myers.
In the past year the district has taken several measures to crack down on harassment, like cutting time between classes, adding a school resource officer, behavior specialists, and teachers on buses.
In a letter to parents, West York says they’ll bring on more staff for Lunch and Learn, but parents say that’s just more taxpayer money.
“As far as tax bases in the county we are second from the top. Our test scores are second from the bottom,” said Davonna Rickard, West York Parent.
The high school principal says she got the idea from other high schools, such as one in New Jersey.
“That’s not research. That’s a program that’s working in a specific place,” said Rickard.
The district has more specifics about the program available, click here.