Help End Lunch Shaming in Texas Schools. Feed the kids, Bill the parents. #ShameFreeTX
This petition made change with 113,611 supporters!
JUNE 2017 UPDATE - JUNE 2017 UPDATE - JUNE 2017 UPDATE
With the passage of SB 1566 the Texas Legislature effectively addressed Lunch Shaming in Texas schools, all we lack now is Governor Abbott's signature and that bill will be law!
Following closely behind New Mexico, Texas is poised to become the second state to address Lunch Shaming on a statewide level.
Upon the Governor's signature we will become #ShameFreeTX
MAY 2017 UPDATE - MAY 2017 UPDATE - MAY 2017 UPDATE
It is clear that this petition has grown beyond its original stated purpose, the amendment of Texas HB 3562, the intent however, has never changed, I would like to put an end to what has become known as lunch shaming. In my opinion, this petition and the social media pages associated with it, have morphed into a launch point for ending lunch shaming on the national level. Clearly, the action taken by New Mexico to end lunch shaming has put the issue in the national spotlight, that’s a good thing. Let’s agree to support one another and any and all efforts to end lunch shaming nationwide. I have encouraged supporters from the beginning to address this issue locally, at your child’s school, school district, city and state. Check local school websites and locate their child nutrition policy, if you agree with their plan for dealing with delinquent meal accounts then that’s great, if not then call them out on social media in order to get like-minded supporters and together, call for change. Contact your local school board, contact local media outlets, make noise and rally supporters. There IS strength in numbers.
A bit more on lunch shaming, I recently came across a Twitter page that address lunch shaming but is NOT state specific, https://twitter.com/endlunchshaming Sadly, this page only has 53 followers, as a reference, Kim Kardashian West has 52 million Twitter followers. I have nothing against Mrs. West, but how about we rally behind one Twitter page so that our numbers reflect our strength and resolve toward ending lunch shaming policies nationwide. If not this page then please choose and share another, we need a unified front and the pressure needs to stay on. A focused effort is more likely to be effective.
TEXANS - URGENT - FOR THOSE HERE IN TEXAS - URGENT - TEXANS
The Texas legislature failed to act on amending HB 3562 and that time has now passed, HB 2159 which addressed many of the issues that were to be addressed through the amendment to HB 3562 has been killed as well . . . in a way, read on.
Ok supporters, here is the latest on HB 2159, the bill that would end, or at least limit, Lunch Shaming in Texas schools, thanks to legislative shenanigans, the bill never received a second reading and now that window has passed so that bill is essentially dead. Don’t fret however, for thanks to the actions of several legislators in both the House and the Senate, the language of HB 2159 has been included in three new bills, HB 367, SB 725 and SB 1696.
That's right, HB 2159 LIVES AGAIN!
But wait, there’s more! One of the trio, HB 367, is currently at Stage four of seven, it has already been voted on and passed the House, it is now headed to the Senate, oh, and one last thing on HB 367, it is a bipartisan bill!
Another bill that now includes the language from HB 2159 is SB 725, and while it may not be a bipartisan bill, it is actually at Stage four of seven, it has passed the Senate and is headed to the House!
And finally, there is SB 1696 also includes the language from HB 2159; this bill is also at Stage three of seven, it has been voted on by the Senate and is headed to the House.
We are getting close to ending, or at least seriously dampening Lunch Shaming in Texas folks but as they say, “It ain’t over till it’s over!”
I need tweets, emails, phone calls, Facebook posts asking the following:
Contact your state Senator representative and ask them to support and vote “YES” on HB 367, and . . .
Contact your state House representative and ask for their support and a “YES” vote on SB 725 and SB 1696.
Follow this link to quickly find your Texas representatives based on your address, the responses include links to their webpages and email addresses - http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx
The 85th legislative session will end on May 29th, THAT’S ABOUT 6 WORKING DAYS! At some point prior to the 29th, the Texas legislature will have to vote on these bills, let's keep the pressure on them so that we get a YES vote. Lunch Shaming in Texas needs to end, NOW!
If we don't make this change happen with the 85th legislature then our next opportunity won't be until the 86th legislature meets in 2019!!!
Politicians respond to media attention, even social media, so please, PLEASE, continue sharing, re-sharing, tweeting and re-tweeting links to this page and or the petition itself; they say the squeaky wheel gets the grease, I say let's SQUEAK, IN UNISON!
NOTE - - NOTE - -NOTE - - NOTE - - NOTE
The original petition has changed so significantly that I've decided to flip the text and place the updates on top and the original petition at the bottom. The bills associated with this petition drive may have changed titles but the intent of this petition has never waivered, putting an end to lunch shaming in Texas schools. Feel free to read the original petition below the "NOTE" line.
NOTE - - NOTE - -NOTE - - NOTE - - NOTE
While working as a substitute teacher in a Central Texas school district I witnessed a truly sad situation -- during breakfast, one of my 4-year-olds slid her meal tray down to the cashier in order to pay for her meal but instead what she heard was an emphatic “You have no money!” followed by the removal of her meal tray.
I live by my debit card and on this day I had absolutely no cash on me or I would have paid the $1.50 for the child's meal. The student then sat at the table assigned to her class and was inconsolable for the next twenty minutes, while her classmates enjoyed their breakfast meals. This seems like cruelty on the part of the cashier, but sadly, she was just following school district policy in accordance with Texas law.
There is a law on the books that requires any Texas school district in which students use a prepaid meal card or account to purchase school meals, to have a grace period during which students continue receiving meals even after their accounts are depleted. This is a good law, as school financial matters are adult business and should not result in a child going hungry. However, it fails our children in one area: each district is allowed to determine how long this grace period is, and, it turns out, it doesn’t have to apply to all meals offered at school.
This was an error on the legislators’ part, and it must be changed to spare kids from such cruel embarrassment. Please join me in calling on the Texas legislature to amend the law to require all districts to continue providing all meals to students, regardless of account balance.
Sadly, the district I am teaching in chose to adopt a one-lunch grace period, meaning they will provide one lunch after a child’s account is depleted. As for breakfast and other meals provided by the school, the student gets nothing. This is ridiculous.
Studies have proven that children cannot learn when they are hungry, and everyone knows that suffering that kind of embarrassment in a school setting can be terribly upsetting for a child. I am not asking that parents and caretakers be absolved of their financial obligations. But repayment can be worked out among adults. Children are not the guilty parties in this scenario, and they should not be punished with hunger for mistakes their parents make.
This petition requests that the law be amended so that children in schools that use prepaid cards or accounts to purchase meals receive uninterrupted access to all meals served at the school, regardless of their account balance.
Feel free to read the proposed amendment here, the new text that has been added is highlighted in green and the text to be removed is in red and has been struck through, the amended replacement text follows and is in black and bold. I have tried to remain fiscally conservative and have changed as little as possible of the original HB 3562 -
Today: Kelvin is counting on you
Kelvin Holt needs your help with “End Lunch Shaming in Texas! Governor Abbott, please sign Senate Bill 1566 into law, let us become a #ShameFreeTX in 2017!”. Join Kelvin and 113,610 supporters today.