“Social Consequences” of School Lunch for Students Who Receive Special Education Services: A Critical Outlook



In this chapter we highlight the need for further investigation into and discussion about the school lunch experiences of students who receive special education services. In 2011, Marcus B. Weaver-Hightower entreated scholars to begin examining the “social consequences” of school lunch, including those of different student populations interacting in the cafeteria. These social interactions and their meanings have been studied in regard to race, socio-economic status, gender, and age, among other factors. However, there has been little investigation into the lunchroom experiences of students who receive special education services, and little is known about interactions between this student population and their general education peers. Among the key questions in need of answers are: What is the current practice in school lunchrooms? What policy informs practice? Who determines procedures to be followed? Asking and exploring such questions will help bring attention to a space (the school lunchroom) and a population (students who receive special education services), which, in combination, have been the focus of very little critical study.


School Lunchroom Special Education (SPED) General Education Peers Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Disability Experience 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Missouri Western State UniversitySt. JosephUSA

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