STOP LUNCH SHAMING OUR KIDS!!!
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My son, MY 8 YEAR OLD SON, my happy go lucky little man was the victim of "lunch shaming" today at school. If you don't know what that is, It's where the school punishes your child for having a lunch bill. usually it is with an "alternative meal" which is ususlly 2 slices of bread and a slice of cheese.
The problem I am having is that I had no idea that he had a lunch bill. According to the papers that I received at the beginning of the school year he was supposed to get free lunch this year. Apparently that was not the case and he has just been racking up a bill this entire year for all his lunch's. Now mind you that not once have I received anything letting me know that he has an unpaid lunch bill, no one has contacted me, I don't even know how much the bill is for.
When my Son went this morning to eat breakfast at school they refused to let him eat and then when it was time for lunch they gave him 2 slices of bread and a piece of cheese. In front of everyone they singled him out and told him that his bill was passed due and Since he owed money, he would have to eat a cheese sandwich.
At this point my son tells me that he broke down crying basically begging them to let him eat lunch please because he didn't get to eat breakfast and hes starving. Their reply was that if he did not bring the money in tomorrow he would also eat a cheese sandwich again tomorrow. He tells me that he spent the rest of lunch crying because his tummy hurt and he didn't understand. Then he spent the rest of the day crying in class off and on every time his stomach hurt.
In what world is it OK to make a child go hungry because the parent owes you money? In what world do people just stand by and watch a baby cry because they are hungry and do nothing to try and solve the problem? In what world do people not take responsibility for not even letting the parent know that there was a bill to be paid and instead punish and shame the child for something they have no control over? The amount of anger that I feel right now over knowing that my 8 year old son went 8 hours today without eating makes me sick. Today, on some level, my son was traumatized and I say that because 3 times today he has now asked me "mommy you're gonna make sure I take my lunch tomorrow right?"
He is so afraid that he's not going to get to eat tomorrow again and he's 8. He is 8. Let that sink in. That should not be anything that an 8 year old worries about, EVER. I promised him he will never eat lunch at the school again. He will always take a lunch everyday because that's the only way I feel I can be sure that my son has food. That is INSANE.
I went to the school to figure out what happened. I was told it was all a mistake. My son actually did not owe anything at all. He actually gets free lunches. So my son was shamed for nothing. I was treated like it was not even a big deal. Even though it was a mistake, it reminded me that this is still what happens when it isn't a mistake. It reminded me that this is happening to many other children, everywhere.
This needs to stop. Prisoners, PRISONERS, get three free meals a day. Meals that my taxes pay for, but my son was shamed over a $5 bill he didn't even really owe? We can give them free meals but not children trying to lesrn?
The children CAN NOT pay their own bills. This is an issue that should be taken up with the parents! No child should be punished for adult issues. Other states have managed to end #lunchshaming, Georgia can too! Please sign this. I don't want this to just stop with my son. I want it to stop evrrywhere!
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