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No lunch for you
  #1  
Old 09-21-2016, 03:40 AM
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jackfaire jackfaire is offline
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Default No lunch for you

This one makes me angry like really truly deep down want to punch someone angry.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/cafeteria-w...ry?id=42236158

EDIT: To Explain a bit better but leaving my initial post. A child showed up at school went to class went through his day and then went to lunch. The child gets their tray of food with their friends and goes to the "cashier" that person then brings up the student's account. If the child's account is owing more than $25 the tray of food they just got is taken from them while their friends watch and thrown away. They are then given a piece of fruit and a single slice of cheese between two dry pieces of bread. Then the price of the lunch that was just thrown away is added to the student's account. End of Edit
So there are things that piss me off about this I will go over the points.

1) This is an elementary school. Not a single one of these kids are legally old enough to get a job to buy their own lunch.

2) While they are still fed being given a piece of fruit and a plain cheese sandwich they are charged for whatever the hot lunch was.

The "cold lunch" Option is a badge of shame. It's not a "You can have the hot lunch or the cold lunch" it's "Look at this kid with the deadbeat parents"

This is completely and utterly fucked up. They are destroying children because the parents haven't paid up yet. There are ways to force parents to pay up unpaid lunch bills that don't involve shaming the child in front of their peers who can't exactly go to the kid's parents and be all "what's wrong with you"

The kid being shamed and the kids watching have no control over the whole thing.

Are we going to start shaming everyone this way? How about everyone that shops at a Thrift Store not because it's trendy but because that's all they can afford why don't we jack up the prices and make them pay for brand new clothing while still only giving them old used clothing.

I am sorry I am trying to stay calm but this hits me on a very personal level.

I am not cool with shaming the kid for something beyond their control, I am not okay with giving the kid less food and still charging for the larger amount of food,.


So yeah thoughts?
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Last edited by jackfaire; 09-21-2016 at 03:49 AM.
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  #2  
Old 09-21-2016, 07:50 PM
Gravekeeper Gravekeeper is offline
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"There has never been the intent with the adoption of this policy to shame or embarrass a child," he said.
If you can come up with that policy and not think things through to their natural conclusion perhaps you shouldn't be working with children.
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  #3  
Old 09-21-2016, 08:21 PM
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I think he was flat out lying as the only reason for that policy is in fact to shame the child so that the parents do whatever it takes to make sure it doesn't happen to their child again.

It saves 0 money. It's a supervillain plan "I may not be able to hurt you Superman but your wife is human"
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Old 09-21-2016, 08:28 PM
Canarr Canarr is offline
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Well, according to the article, the policy has reduced the backlog of unpaid meal accounts "drastically", so it does seem to bring in money the school didn't get before.

Of course, that doesn't make the policy any less asshole-ish. If they really didn't think this through to its inevitable end, then they shouldn't really be in a position where they're supposed to teach someone else.

If meal payment is such an issue, they should simply switch to pre-pay.
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Old 09-21-2016, 09:40 PM
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Well, according to the article, the policy has reduced the backlog of unpaid meal accounts "drastically", so it does seem to bring in money the school didn't get before.
Honestly I think it goes beyond just being an asshole. Even as shocked and appalled adults many still can't fathom how deeply scarring that is. Something like this can have a cascade affect on the rest of a kid's life. By 5th grade kids are pretty well established, "Regular kid, Popular kid, Loser kid"

But prior to 5th grade even the smallest thing can make you the loser kid. Things the kid doesn't even know how they will affect their life.

There is one thing that kids learn in school that is more important than any of the knowledge they ever have. Social Skills.

These are learned at a young age from your friends. If you become ostracized from those kids around you then you don't learn them. You don't learn them you become the weird kid who can't understand social interaction because the rules keep changing.

Making friends goes from no one likes you to no one gets you. And kids won't explain to the weird kid "oh here's what you're doing wrong"

The weird kid's ostracized self becomes more intense because everything about them is off-putting as they are still using the same level of social skills everyone had in the 2nd grade.

Then dating, going out, getting ahead at work, finding out about how to get into college. Everything in life becomes more difficult.

I learned early on in the 2nd grade kids didn't like me because I was smart so from then until Graduation I tried really hard to be like "everyone else" but no one ever told me "oh by the now that it's high school being smart is good" I had 0 friends that could explain that to me so I just kept changing this that or the other all in the desperate bid to finally have friends to belong to not feel like a ghost in a world that had rejected me.

I got to my senior year never knowing that "oh by the way to get into college you need good grades, extracurriculars, and good SAT scores to apply for college oh and you have to apply"

My Guidance counselors had just assumed I was a C average student when really I just didn't think you were supposed to get good grades or kids would hate you and college is just the next step I just pick which one I want to go to to and go.

College I made a few friends but with kids that like me had no idea how to actually function with other people. Now I am 36 divorced and I am still not great at interpersonal relationships.

Shaming this kid was the only possible reason for the program not an "Unforseen side effect" but the only reason.

That policy involves zero communication to the parents and they didn't seem to tell the kid "Hey you're getting close to the mark tell your parents" In fact it seems like parents probably weren't even advised of the policy until the kids were coming home sobbing since the lady who quit was pretty sure parents had never heard of it.

This policy could destroy the fragile social status of a child and irreparably harm their future as they try frantically to get back what they once had. Childhood is not the happy cartoons we love watching kids can be dicks and it can have far reaching consequences.
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Old 09-22-2016, 09:05 PM
s_stabeler s_stabeler is offline
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to be fair, I don't think that the shaming is actually intentional. The thing is, it's not actually one single policy causing this- or rather, there isn't a policy of " if a kid has an overdue balance of more than 25, take away their hot meal in front of everyone, throw it away and give them a cold meal while charging them for the hot meal."- there's several policies at play:
1. a kid with an overdue balance of more than $25 is not allowed to run it up higher. Any meal attempted to be purchased will be taken away
2. elementary school kids can't be completely denied lunch ( remember, older kids don't even get the cold lunch)
3. Any food touched by a student must be thrown away- not served to anybody else
4. any food touched by a student must be paid for by that student
5. Since students can pick-and-choose, they pay for their food after picking what they want.

hence, the combination of those policies causes the disgraceful situation.(it's why other schools don't have the same scenes- at least one of the policies is missing, or the overdue balance policy isn't quite as strict.

overall, though, I can think of a very easy way to prevent such disgraceful scenes. Have two paths for kids to get their lunch: one goes through the hot meals, one the cold. A kid wanting to go through the hot meals path must first have their balance checked- if it's too low, they're directed to the other path. Then, there's no throwing away of food, and it could probably be arranged so it's not obvious what's happened.

but yeah, the problem is- though not usually quite as extreme as jackfaire said- like with all punishments that involve some form of public humiliation, or otherwise publicize the incident, you cannot terminate the punishment- that is, there is no way to guarantee the incident won't become how the kid is remembered by their classmates- in extreme cases the kid may never live it down.

That, and it has occurred to me that it could be a useful tool for an abusive parent- make sure the school goes unpaid, and make the kid think that not getting hot food- or any lunch- means the school think the kid doesn't deserve to be treated like anyone else either.
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  #7  
Old 09-26-2016, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by jackfaire View Post
Even as shocked and appalled adults many still can't fathom how deeply scarring that is. Something like this can have a cascade affect on the rest of a kid's life.
Jack, your whole post was absolutely spot-on. Being a kid with iffy social skills is like being forced to play a game where you don't know the rules, nobody will tell you the rules, and the moment you break even the smallest of the unknown rules, everybody berates and ostracizes you. It's a ridiculous system, and when school authorities do things like they did in this story, they don't make it any easier.

Why didn't they contact the parents and let them know the kid's lunch account was getting low? Head the problem off before it starts, rather than punish and humiliate the innocent party.
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Old 09-28-2016, 04:36 AM
Estil Estil is offline
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Trust me XCashier, I know all about "being a kid with iffy social skills" and feeling like an outcast or what have you. Not just at school but among my own "family" as well. That being said, the whole situation in the OP was appalling enough, but seriously...still charging for the hot lunch even after it's thrown away? It was not until in my mid-to-late 20s did I find out all this time I was an "Aspie". I always knew deep down I was "different" but I didn't know what was going on (this was pre-Internet mind you so I had no way of really finding out). And yes, even to this day that stuff still affects me, and it's not fun at all.

To paraphrase that Walter O'Malley looking guy on Miracle on 34th Street, where did they get their PR skills from, a correspondence course from a late night infomercial? :P

Last edited by Estil; 09-28-2016 at 04:38 AM.
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  #9  
Old 10-02-2016, 07:21 PM
protege protege is offline
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Trust me XCashier, I know all about "being a kid with iffy social skills" and feeling like an outcast or what have you. Not just at school but among my own "family" as well.
You too? Been there, done that, got the shitty T-shirt from the thrift store. While I never was denied lunch at school, I took plenty of shit from everyone, and became the school outcast. Not much in the way of social skills, being a poor kid (seriously, my dad was unemployed for most of my childhood) ensured it.
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Old 10-05-2016, 03:09 AM
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Originally Posted by protege View Post
While I never was denied lunch at school, I took plenty of shit from everyone, and became the school outcast. Not much in the way of social skills, being a poor kid (seriously, my dad was unemployed for most of my childhood) ensured it.
Similar background here. Poor (Dad was disabled and couldn't work), glasses, awkward, poor social skills. Sent to a school in the rich part of town for gifted classes. Result? School pariah. Seventh grade was utter hell for me.

My son's having it a lot better than I did. There are programs now that help kids learn social skills, and he's benefiting greatly from it. And bullying is seriously frowned upon now, there are anti-bullying programs as well. At least, that's the case at my son's school, I don't know how it is in the rest of the country.
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