NYC kids eating school lunch outdoors despite dropping temps

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Talk about cold cuts.

Kids in some city schools are still eating lunch outdoors each day due to social distancing rules despite plunging temperatures and steamed parents.

“It’s getting a little ridiculous at this point,” said a mom at MS 104 in Manhattan, where kids again pulled apart their string cheese in 39 degree weather Wednesday. “They’ve eaten outdoors every day this week. It’s cold.”

A mom at a Park Slope elementary school said her child has also been dining al freezo for the entire year and began complaining about the conditions this week.

“We’ve heard no plans to bring them inside anytime soon,” she said. “In fact, they are still asking for parents to give the school their Fresh Direct bags to create seating pads. It doesn’t sound like they’re going in.”

The Department of Education allowed principals to devise their own lunch arrangements this year while complying with social distancing rules.

While some have managed to keep kids under a roof while eating, others have headed for the great outdoors.

“It’s already hard enough for a little kid to eat outside while sitting on concrete with a mask on,” said the mother of a Brooklyn 4th grader who ate outside this week. “What does the weather have to be to go inside? How low does it have to go?”

JHS 104 Photos
A mom at a Park Slope elementary school said her child began complaining about the conditions this week.
Daniel McKnight

Parents said that their kids have only been allowed to eat indoors during heavy downpours this year.

The DOE insisted Wednesday that individual kids retain the option to eat indoors if they choose.

But parents said they’ve yet to hear of any such accommodations.

“We’ve never been told that,” the Park Slope mom said. “And no one else I know has either.”

JHS 104 Photos
The DOE said they would remind administrators of their policy to allow parents to have their kids eat inside if they request it.
Daniel McKnight

Several parents also noted that teachers and administrators are not eating in the elements.

“The problem is that there is no hard metric for when the kids can go inside,” one said. “It’s just up to the principal, whatever they decide goes. Hopefully we’re not out here in February.”

The DOE said Wednesday that they would remind administrators of their policy to allow parents to have their kids eat inside if they request it.


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