Texas Bill Would Eliminate Student Lunch Debt at Schools
I am personally all for this, but I know some will oppose it.
House Bill 4112 was recently filed by Texas Representative James Talarico out of Round Rock. The bill would allow students to receive regular lunches despite what their meal card balance may be. In case you don't know, if a kid has an excessive balance on their lunch card, they're not allowed to eat the normal scheduled lunch for the day. They're usually given a 'cheaper' option.
Most of the time it is just a sandwich, with veggies, fruit and milk. This had led to what some people refer to as lunch shaming, where the students see a child with a different lunch than everyone else and sometimes this results in bullying. I personally don't think a child should be shamed for not affording food. It's a kid, they have no way to get a job and support themselves. A child should not be worrying about food during their school day.
The stories that anger me are when cafeteria workers are fired for feeding these students. Also, when someone in the community offers to pay the lunch debts for the students and the school won't accept the money since the child is not theirs. Click the links if you think I am making these stories up, these kind of stories pop up multiple times a year and I'm sick of reading them.
“In the richest country in the world, children are accumulating debt. We are shaming kids because they can’t afford their school lunch and conditioning them for a lifetime of indebtedness,” said Talarico. “School meals are essential to a student’s physical health and academic success. I filed HB 4112 to ban school lunch debt in Texas because no one should be in debt before first grade.”
I personally hope this passes, but we will have to wait