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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — One Queens middle school is facing the problem of having too many students and not enough cafeteria space.
It’s a predicament that has parents up in arms over whether it’s lunch or brunch their children will be eating before 10 a.m. each day.
I.S. 25 in Flushing is one of three schools jammed inside a building on 192nd Street.
The cafeteria there is being slammed by extreme overcrowding, prompting an extraordinary response to the lunch crunch starting when school returns on Thursday.
In a letter to parents, the principal at I.S. 25 wrote eighth grade students will begin their brunch at 9:45 a.m.
“Since they are students who rarely eat breakfast,” the principal wrote, “this will prove to be a good move.”
Beyond the suggestion that eighth graders rarely eat breakfast, the thought of kids being forced to eat a lunch of mozzarella sticks or pasta at 9:50 a.m. is not being well received in the neighborhood.
“That’s absurd I mean they have to do something that’s ridiculous I mean people are eating breakfast at that time,” one parent told CBS 2′s Steve Langford.
Paul Manuele has a son going into eighth grade at I.S. 25 this year and wondered how his child will cope by the time early to mid-afternoon rolls around on an empty stomach.
“That’s a long day and he’s not getting sufficient fuel,” Manuele said.
PTA President Lorraine Kosnar told 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria she plans to give her eighth grader breakfast every day and that he won’t be hungry by 9:45 a.m., but will be by 12:30 p.m. or 1 p.m.
1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria With More On The Story
“A snack with cheese and apples or a bottle of water should be given to the children that are eating 9:45 lunches because by that time they’re hungry,” Kosnar said.
Kosnar said the biggest problem is the lack of schools in Queens.
“There’s plenty of empty land, there’s plenty of empty space — start building schools and stop worrying about baseball stadiums,” she said.
The Department of Education said the decision is at the discretion of the principal, who they said is available to speak to parents who have any concerns.
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