School lunch and snack programs have come under scrutiny recently, and there is more pressure than ever before on school districts to chase and enforce lunch payments.
The programmes have been claimed to significantly helped low income families struggling to cope with the financial burden of providing lunches every day for their children, but it appears that due to renewed duress on schools to collect lunch payments from families, they are turning to divisive methods to ensure that everyone is paying their way.
One school seems to have gone entirely too far, however, with their new policy on collecting lunch money from students, leading to a considerable backlash online, after the friend of one parent posted a photo that appalled parents everywhere on Twitter.
After Tara Chavez’s son came home with a mark on his wrist, she asked him what had happened that day, as he hadn’t brought anything up.
He explained that, due to his lunch money account being low, a lunch lady had grabbed his arm and stamped a marker on it. It seems that, instead of sending a letter home to parents, the school had implemented a new stamping policy when lunch funds were running low.
“My kid’s really weird about stuff like that, so I asked if he was given a choice by the lunch lady and he said, ‘No, she just grabbed my wrist and put the stamp on.’ I was surprised. Normally I get a slip in his folder when he needs more money.”
After Ms Chavez’s friend posted a picture of the stamp mark on Twitter, it wasn’t long before users displayed their outrage at the school’s policy.
Ms Chavez contacted the school to raise her concerns about the incident – the school’s principal responded by saying that the idea is for staff to ask the children if they want a stamp or a slip to take home to their parents.
“I think there’s a better way to communicate the message than stamping a child with the word ‘Lunch Money’” Chavez explained, “There’s a billion other ways you could do it that would be better than that.”