Parents, students fighting for longer lunchtimes at Mukilteo schools

EVERETT, Wash. -- Do schools give kids enough time to eat lunch? It's been a highly-discussed topic since a state audit report found many in Washington don't.

On Monday, parents and students in the Mukilteo School District addressed their concerns to board members.  Elementary students went to the podium to tell officials they only have about 10 minutes to scarf their lunch down.

"I like to eat hot lunch but when I do I never have enough time to finish my lunch after," said fifth-grade student Mallory Banfield.

A state audit report of 31 schools released in August found many schools don't give students enough seated lunchtime.  Parents say it's upsetting to see their kids bring lunch boxes back home that are half full.

"It infuriated me," said Jesse Cantor, parent of a third-grade student. "That's why I'm here. That's why I'm here. It doesn't make any sense to expect kids at this age to be able to finish a meal in such a short period of time."

Cantor and others at the meeting were asking the board for a minimum of 20 minutes of seated lunchtime.

"If it doesn't work this year there's no reason why it can't work next year," Cantor said.

The Mukilteo School District issued a statement, saying:

“We heard our families and students and we are always happy to hear from them. We will continue to work with our building principals on how best to balance lunch and recess schedules.”