Should There be Assigned Seats at Lunch?

There is a common debate on whether lunch tables should be assigned, or student-picked. Most reasons for a seating arrangement at lunch has to do with inclusion and making friends. These things could also be avoided in other cases.

It is believed by some that having assigned seats at lunch eliminates the stress and worry of trying to find a seat. Experts agree that developing social-emotional skills is very important and should be prioratized. The table talk at school lunch tables gives students the opportunity to get closer with peers and demonstrate how to make conversations with others in the future. Breaking down groups allows students to blend, encouraging meeting new people and making new friends. With all ages and social groups, this overall benefits the school’s culture.

On the other hand, 98% of teens say they have one or more close friends, while only 2% say they don’t consider anyone to be a close friend. Some ways to make kids feel included are providing different options in completing assignments. Suggesting many ways to go about the students’ learning helps the kids feel responsible for their learning and comfortable with their atmosphere. Another way to include all, is to have recognition of the students’ personal life out of school. Having games and fun activities can include many and help bring school into a positive environment in kids' minds. All of these ideas are things schools can do to help kids feel comfortable, welcome, and included in school without changing a seating arrangement.

In my opinion, I think including students in ways that are more controlled by teachers is much more effective than hoping the kids at lunch tables are kind and encouraging to others. What do you think?


Do you think there should be assigned seats at lunch? Why or why not?

Would blending all social groups encourage new friendships? 

What are some other ways to include all students? 

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  • I think that there shouldn’t be assigned seats during lunch. The reason why I think this is because it should be our choice where to sit and not the teachers. If we want to sit with a completely different group than what we usually do then that should be our choice. That being said, everyone already has a place in the lunch where they choose to sit every day. None of those places change unless there is drama in that friend group. Therefore, what's the point of creating a whole new seating chart if there in a way already one? It’s just one that’s not written down permanently.

    • I get where you're coming from with that there is almost already an assigned luch seating in a way. But that doesn't fix the problem of the kids that don't have anyone to talk to. Some students might be too scared to sit with a friend group that they might not be in.

  • I don't think there should be assigned seats, because we already have assigned seats in every other class. Lunch is the only time we are able to talk to our friends without getting in trouble. I don't know about you but I like to talk to my friends , and some people don't get along with others.

    • That's true, I like sitting with my friends at lunch without having to be with people that possibly cause conflict between people. But, some of the people that maybe don't get along with some people might get along betterwith others, a seating arrangement would mix the groups.

  • I dont think there should be assigned seats becasue not everyone gets along with people and kids in lunch thats thier free time to talk to their frirends for more than 3 minute passing period, so i dont think it should be assigned seating

    • I agree, I think people don't have enough time to talk to other people anyh time but lunch because of the classroom seating and the 3-minute passing periods. I think there could still be a way to include others in a way that doesn't bug people and their friend groups too much.

  • I think that there shouldn't be assigned seats at lunch. I think this because it is a waste of time for the school to make the charts. When something tries to get people together it never seems to work anyway. The students will go back to their friends and won't talk to the other students at their table. Assigned seats for lunch are a waste of time.

    • They aren't quite a waste of time. They could be not very useful and not have a great outcome, but if the idea is there, that's not a waste of time. Some people really don't have anyone to sit next to and if people ar trying to help that, I think that's great.

  • I think there shouldn’t be assigned sets at lunch because if someone gets put with someone they don’t like, there will most likely be a verbal fight, which could become a physical fight due to an augment ensuing which could stem from a disagreement they had with each other. 

    • Yes, conflict during lunch is very common. I don't know how manyh times I've had to dodge food or listen to someone not-so-happily talking to another person. This is probably one of the biggest problems with mixing social groups, arguments. 

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