Army Vet Trying to Change Texas School’s Policy on ‘Lunch-Shaming’ Kids [VIDEO]
A kid shouldn't be put down like this if they don't have money in their account.
A new report from WFAA shows how different school districts in Texas shame kids when they don't have money in their account for lunch. If the kids go through the line and pick out their food, then get to the front of the line with no money in the account, that food gets thrown away. The child is then given an 'alternative meal'. Which is a cheese sandwich, serving of fruit/veggies with a milk.
A practice that former Army veteran, now teacher Kelvin Holt, was not aware of. He told the story to WFAA about a four-year-old in kindergarten that had her meal thrown away, bringing her to tears.
"She got to the cashier, they scanned her PIN and the cashier said this to the 4-year-old: 'You have no money.' [The cashier] reached down, picked up her tray, took the milk off the tray, dumped the food, and sent the child away crying. My jaw dropped. I felt like I was just kicked in the gut,” explained Holt. "This is breakfast now, so her last meal might have been 12 or 13 hours ago. And who knows what that meal consisted of. Insult to injury is the fact that they dump the food in the presence of the child. The message that sends to a child is 'I care about my bottom line. I don't care about you or your feelings or your hunger.'"
Representative Helen Giddings is trying to put an end to these 'lunch-shaming' procedures. She introduced a bill that gives kids a two-week grace period. During that period, continue allowing students with an unpaid balance to select a hot lunch of their choice.
Giddings’ legislation also requires school districts to make at least three attempts to notify the parent of the delinquent account and give them two weeks to get caught up. Kelvin Holt thinks it should be longer.
"Two weeks is too short of time frame, but two weeks is not quite long enough to respond to a medical emergency, a loss of a job, a cut in a paycheck, a reduction in hours, those life events that happen. We need to be flexible. Children do not need to be punished," Holt explained.
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