Parents of children who attend schools in New York City have spoken with the New York Post and stated that students have “eaten outdoors every day this week,” going on to add, “it’s cold,” and then pointing out that they haven’t heard anything from the schools about when kids will finally be allowed to eat their lunch inside the building.
“It’s getting a little ridiculous at this point,” one parent, who is the mother of a child attending MS 104 in Manhattan. “They’ve eaten outdoors every day this week. It’s cold.”
According to the Department of Education, school principles are allowed to decide whether or not it’s safe for children to eat indoors due to COVID-19, and some schools in the city are holding lunch indoors, according to the Post.
“The problem is that there is no hard metric for when the kids can go inside,” one parent went on to tell the newspaper. “It’s just up to the principal, whatever they decide goes. Hopefully we’re not out here in February.”
The mother of a child at an elementary school in Park Slope said that “We’ve heard no plans to bring them inside anytime soon. In fact, they are still asking for parents to give the school their Fresh Direct bags to create seating pads. It doesn’t sound like they’re going in.”
Another Brooklyn-based mother spoke with the newspaper saying, “It’s already hard enough for a little kid to eat outside while sitting on concrete with a mask on. What does the weather have to be to go inside? How low does it have to go?”
The Post then pointed out that the department continues to insist that individual kids have the right to eat their lunch inside if they choose to, however, some parents are saying they were not made aware of this.
“Schools and students always have the option to have their meals inside, including if there’s inclement weather like rain, high or low temperatures, high winds, and more,” DOE spokesperson Katie O’Hanlon stated during a conversation with the Post, pointing out that the department will be sure to remind school administrators of this policy. “Thanks to our amazing food service workers, schools can quickly pivot to serve lunch in a variety of formats and in various locations if needed.”