Good nutrition in a child’s life is crucial for establishing a solid foundation for future physical and mental health, academic achievement, and productivity.
Unfortunately, schools like Barber Middle School in Texas do not see food insecurity as an obstacle that impedes on that critical foundation. After realizing that a student’s account was shy 30 cents, cafeteria workers threw a sixth grader’s breakfast into the trash.
When Jennifer Castilleja, the student’s parent, received a phone call on Wednesday morning regarding her child’s account, Jennifer agreed to pay the money so her child could eat breakfast. Barber Middle School refused to feed her 12 year old unless they were paid the 30 cents in full.
“My son called me and asked me if I could bring him some money because they took his breakfast from him and he needed money for breakfast,” she said. “I said, ‘Well, I’m on my way, I’ll pay for it,’” Castilleja told the school. “And she said no, I would have to bring some money before he could have breakfast.” “There were kids all around him. I think he may have been a little embarrassed and upset and, of course, hungry.”
The school informed Castilleja that she should have been aware that her child’s account was empty and they have a firm policy on not offering credit to children who do not have money in their account.
“Dickinson ISD’s procedure is that we do not allow student charges for breakfast,” the district said in a statement. “Many school districts follow this same procedure. Students get verbal warnings to let parents know once the account starts getting low. Written warnings are sent home to parents before money runs out.”
As stated before, when a child misses breakfast, their odds to thrive in the classroom and in the future are significantly reduced. It is a shame that Barber Middle School will refuse to feed a hungry child over 30 cents.
Watch this report on the story from ABC13 in the link below: