Opinion: Students Shouldn’t be Given Lunch Detentions


Students serving lunch detention sit in a small quiet room facing the wall.


Many students at Longfellow have spent their lunch sitting in the office instead of hanging out with their friends in the cafeteria. Lunch detention is a form of discipline for students who have displayed inappropriate behavior in class or in the cafeteria.  

It takes place in the office, classroom, or gym during the 30 minutes of a student’s lunch period. Despite the popularity of this punishment, most students believe that they shouldn’t be given lunch detentions. 

While many students complain that lunch detentions are an unfair punishment, teachers and administrators think it has its benefits. Lunch detention, they say, is for students to reflect on the aspects of their behavior that are causing the problem. In addition, lunch detentions provide students with accountability for their actions.

“[A lunch detention] wouldn’t discourage me from misbehaving in the future,” said  7th-grader Emma Z. “It would only make me mad at the teacher.” 

Admittedly, we were unable to talk to anyone who had received a detention due to privacy issues.  Still, many students don’t see the benefits of lunch detention. To most, the punishment is useless and ineffective. 

There seems to be a repeating pattern with lunch detentions. Once students serve their detention, they fail to remember their mistakes and the problematic behavior is repeated. Lunch detentions rarely discourage students from misbehaving in the future. 

“They would just make me more pissed,” said 7th-grader Sophia Z.

To many students, the only thing that lunch detentions do is make them annoyed and angry. Lunch detentions could significantly impact a student’s school day and make them very upset.

“ Having a conversation with the student and admin to explain their side of the story would be more beneficial,” suggested 7th-grader Rewa S.

With this scenario, the administrator can address the issue and try to figure out why such behaviors are occurring while students might feel heard and better understand what they can and can’t do. Together, they can form a solution to the problem and discuss how to avoid similar issues in the future. 

Overall, the benefits of lunch detentions seem to be ineffective and weak. Although teachers see many benefits to lunch detentions, most students believe that lunch detentions do much more harm than good.