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Knightdale High suspends 'smart lunch' after fights

Posted September 18, 2009

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— Knightdale High School has suspended a lunch program indefinitely after several fights in the cafeteria led to the arrest of three students Wednesday.

This year, Knightdale High started a "smart lunch" program, which is used by roughly half of the high schools in the Wake County Public School System.

"smart lunch" program Schools change to smart lunch programs

Administrators said that the goal of a smart lunch is to provide extra time for academic help for all students, including those who can't come early or stay late.

Instead of having staggered lunch periods, the entire school has one, longer lunch. Students can get extra tutoring, remedial help or do schoolwork on their own.

"The faculty and staff like it, because it affords them an opportunity during the day to met with students that they need to meet with," said Dr. Jim Hedrick, principal of Green Hope High School in Cary, which also holds smart lunches.

After the fights at Knightdale High, though, critics say the program's flexibility is its flaw.

"I think the smart lunch is what really is making this happen, because you got 50 minutes, and people, they have nothing better to do than fight," student Chandler Womble said.

Knightdale Police Chief Shawn Brown said officers responded to several incidents in the past week. Then, on Wednesday, several fights involving six to 12 people total broke out. About 40 police officers were called out to quell the fighting.

It was unclear exactly how many of Knightdale's 1,900 students were in the cafeteria during the fights Wednesday, because students are allowed to leave campus during lunch.

School administrators acknowledged that switching to a smart lunch can cause some issues, but stressed that it has helped students at other schools.

"In the beginning of the transition to a smart lunch, there could be some wrinkles in the process," school system spokesman Greg Thomas said.

Hedrick said that test scores at Green Hope High jumped after the smart lunch was implemented.

"It's been successful in pretty much all the schools," Thomas said. "It can work."

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  • time4real Sep 18, 2009

    the only one dumb enough to run again is the old guy in district 2, the others gave up and quit. one before her term was even up. how's that for taking care of the kids and doing what you swore to uphold! i agree that every single one of the voters who give a hoot need to go to www.wakesca.org and see who is running to MAKE THINGS BETTER! Not to keep doing the same garbage, but to realize you can still have diversity without busing in mass and reassigning kids constantly, or creating ignorant policies like early release days. wake up wake county and get sniff the change. you only have 2 weeks. if you don't the next 4 years for your children and you will be a living nightmare! think i'm kidding? then don't vote, or vote for the wrong people and watch and see! how much more do you want to pay in taxes!!??

  • ICTrue Sep 18, 2009

    Smart lunch....thats funny.

    The people calling the shots in most of our schools and the Wake County school board are completely out of touch. I totally agree with the first poster that this Wednesday boondogle that they dreamed up and dropped in our laps at the last minute is the last straw...it is for me. It is time to start taking control back. Don't vote any incumbants back onto the school board. Go to this website, check out these candidates, they are regular people trying to get control back from the elitist and clueless people running it now.

    http://www.wakesca.org/

    Time to replace the Wake County School Board and start taking control of our lives and getting our ccommunity and schools back.

  • colliedave Sep 18, 2009

    After the fights at Knightdale High, though, critics say the program's flexibility is its flaw.

    NO! The flaw is students that do not recognize authority and believe the world rerovolves around themselves. The nead a regular major dressing down by the Anrmy drill Sargent. But libs would whine this would damage the students' self-esteem.

  • time4real Sep 18, 2009

    "smart lunch"?????? give me a break. this school system is so far gone there is little hope. i have YET to hear a teacher say the Wed. garbage is good for them or students. if you people don't get out and vote for some fresh blood in 2 weeks there's no hope for you or your kids. or our county! and if you think the way things are going is just fine, you better move to another state if your kids are in the public education arena, because you ain't seen nothin' yet! this school board will make your life 10 times worse than it is if they are left to be the diversity guards! wake up people!!

  • somey Sep 18, 2009

    Wake County schools and smart used in the same sentence...wow!