New Mexico has passed a law outlawing the act of shaming children for not having enough money for lunch.
One child in Alabama actually got a stamp on his arm saying, “I need lunch money.”
The father said:
“I can’t think of one logical reason why anyone would stamp on a note on a child’s arm. We have so much technology and multiple ways to communicate.”
Another child in Arizona got a stamp on his arm with the words, “Lunch Money.”
This is the stamp. On his wrist. pic.twitter.com/I0OCK8VeBa
— Hedlis Torseaux (@juanyfbaby) April 1, 2017
The mother said she usually gets a piece of paper in her son’s folder when they need to put more money in his account.
Some schools have even been known to make the children clean tables to “earn” their lunch. Other cruel school policies require that the food be thrown away if the child can’t pay for it.
Jennifer Ramo, executive director of New Mexico Appleseed, an anti-poverty group that spearheaded the law, said:
“People on both sides of the aisle were genuinely horrified that schools were allowed to throw out children’s food or make them work to pay off debt. It sounds like some scene from ‘Little Orphan Annie,’ but it happens every day.”
The New Mexico law still allows the schools to penalize parents who won’t pay for the lunches with other methods such as withholding transcripts or revoking parking permits from older students.
— FoodService Director (@fsdeditor) March 8, 2017
The schools send parents calls, texts, and emails to let them know that their child needs more money. Some schools even hire collection agencies if necessary.
Kids already bully each other enough; let’s not give them more ammunition. Lunch shaming not only hurts the kids, but it can hurt the adults forced to carry out those mean, harsh policies. Some employees have been known to dip into their own pockets to pay for a child’s meal. Children shouldn’t be punished for a debt that they have no power to pay.
Featured image via Twitter.