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Eye on the world: Compassionate solutions to every dilemma
In “When a child has no lunch money, whose problem is it?” The Christian Science Monitor reports on “a phenomenon known as ‘lunch shaming’– [school district] policies that require lunch workers to single out children whose parents have not paid their lunch fees.” School cafeteria workers are required to deny lunch to kids whose parents haven’t paid their school lunch bills. “Some school districts deal with the problem by giving students whose parents have not paid lunch fees a bare-bones cold lunch, such as a sandwich consisting of two pieces of bread and one slice of cheese. But in some other districts, lunch shaming goes further: it may include dumping the hot lunches students had hoped to eat into the trash in front of them, making them do chores to pay off their lunch debt, requiring them to wear wristbands, or sending them home with stamps on their arms saying, ‘I need lunch money.’... Lunch shaming is not necessarily a new problem, but it’s one that has increased in intensity in recent months … [with] more than 70 percent of US public school districts [incurring] some amount of meal debt.” State lawmakers are crafting legislation to curb the practice that leaves students hungry and embarrassed, and school cafeteria workers ashamed and heartbroken.
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