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Breakfast on the menu at School Committee meeting in Lynn

LYNN — Breakfast being served inside the classroom at Lynn Public Schools became one of the major talking points at the Lynn School Committee meeting Thursday, with principals from two Lynn schools coming to voice their opinions.

“This would be a logistics disaster,” said Lynn English High School Principal Thomas Strangie, arguing that lining more than 1,600 kids up before class for a grab-and-go breakfast and getting them to an 11-minute homeroom on time would be nearly impossible for the school.

School Committee Member Lorraine Gately agreed.

“I have a hard time thinking about how we would do it logistically. It would be a nightmare in high schools.”

Strangie, along with Harrington Elementary School Principal Debra Ruggiero, made it clear that no one in their schools is starving for breakfast under the current before-the-bell systems, citing how tardy students have the opportunity to get meals if needed and how hungry students can visit the nurse.

Ruggiero pointed out that trash from in classroom breakfasts could become a problem.

“Nothing bothers me like watching food be thrown away,” she said.

School Committee member John Ford agreed saying, “A lot of people in this city are going hungry and we are going to be dumping loads of food in the barrels?”

Another member, Donna Coppola, felt that even if it would be hard to make a system work, changes needed to be made to Lynn School’s low breakfast numbers.

“There are a lot of eyes on us as a low performing urban school. It’s like we’re saying ‘that’s another thing we can’t do.’ I want to see something done,” she said.

Coppola also talked about how not eating breakfast could cause them to act out. “Is it a behavior problem or are they just hungry?”

Ruggiero also mentioned that another problem she has noticed is that even if kids are eating breakfast, it often might not even be enough to hold them over for lunch, suggesting that snack programs may help.

While several members liked the sound and potential of a snack program, those programs would not earn the same amount of funding and potential profit that an after-the-bell breakfast program would.

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