Our country is spiteful and resentful towards the poor and needy, and we make no exception for the children of the poor. A case in point is a recent situation in Snohomish, Washington, when 7-year-old Xavier was told that he couldn’t have lunch with the rest of the children because he had a negative lunch balance.
Xavier, a first grader, told Q13 Fox that it was a “sack lunch” and that the lunch lady was “passing it around to everyone.” But when it got to him, the lunch lady told him “Guess what, you can’t have a lunch.”
Eric, Xavier’s father, told the local Fox affiliate that his son was on the free lunch program, meaning that any negative balance should have been covered. Should’ve been, but wasn’t, since Xavier was sent home hungry.
The situation left such a mark that Eric is said he was considering removing Xavier from the district:
It made me feel really bad for him. That’s not right. That’s like saying, ‘Hey, you don’t have your book bag so you can’t have your education’. You can’t do that. Feed them. They need to eat. They need to concentrate. They can’t concentrate without eating. I just don’t want this to happen to any other kid. It’s hurtful.
That it’s hurtful is a feature, not a bug.
Despite reaching out to the school, Eric says that the answers to his questions were “denied.” He told the station that “I was very mad. I couldn’t believe it happened. It happened to me as a child and I could still feel that hurt and I can only imagine what he went through.”
When Q13 Fox reached out to the school, the school told the station that they were looking into the situation. A school spokesperson said that if the child’s account is negative $20 or more, they receive a cheese sandwich and fruits and vegetables from the salad bar, in addition to a drink.
This isn’t the first time this has happened: in June, a middle schooler’s lunch was taken from him because he owed just $0.26. It happened in February when an Iowa middle school student was also denied a meal. Another child lost his lunch for a $5 shortfall on his account. The comments in the Q13 Fox article indicate that this happens a lot more than the media reports.
And while some districts have taken steps in response, it’s not happening fast enough.
You can watch the report below:
h/t Addicting Info