Friday, January 26, 2007

The School Of Silence

A Warwick, Rhode Island Catholic school has adopted a new policy requiring students to be silent while they eat their lunch:
A Roman Catholic elementary school adopted new lunchroom rules this week requiring students to remain silent while eating. The move comes after three recent choking incidents in the cafeteria.

No one was hurt, but the principal of St. Rose of Lima School explained in a letter to parents that if the lunchroom is loud, staff members cannot hear a child choking.

Christine Lamoureux, whose 12-year-old is a sixth-grader at the school, said she respects the safety issue but thinks the rule is a bad idea.

"They are silent all day," she said. "They have to get some type of release." She suggested quiet conversation be allowed during lunch.

Another mother, Thina Paone, does not mind the silent lunches, noting that the cafeteria "can be very crazy" at the suburban school south of Providence.

Principal Jeannine Fuller did not immediately return a call seeking comment, but a spokesman for the Diocese of Providence described the silence rule as a temporary safety measure.

Spokesman Michael Guilfoyle said the school does not expect complete silence but enough quiet to keep students safe.

Lori Healey, a teacher at the school who also has a son in third grade, said "silent lunch" means students can whisper.
There's more to read over there.

Expecting youngsters to be "silent" while eating lunch is like expecting a politician to tell the truth or be silent.

It's not gonna happen.

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