In a commentary last month, sixth-graders Talia Bradley and Antonia Ritter pointed out that kids in the Minneapolis public schools get only 10 to 11 minutes to eat lunch, and they described the problems that causes ("We hate to eat and run -- but as students, we have to," April 18).

Minneapolis parents will be glad to hear that Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson joined the sixth grade at Seward Montessori for lunch on Monday to see the situation in person, and that she promised to find a solution.

Kids in the free-lunch program will especially benefit from a longer lunchtime. They are likely to be the most nutritionally disadvantaged, and they must stand in line for food, taking up many of those precious 10 to 11 minutes.

Being unable to finish that lunch only defeats the purpose of the free-lunch program, putting them farther behind nutritionally and educationally. We applaud the superintendent's willingness to take students' concerns seriously and hope that other districts will follow her lead.


The writers are the parents of Antonia Ritter.