A little boy was ’embarrassed’ and publicly ‘humiliated’ for not having enough lunch money to pay for his school meal.
While you might presume kids are cruel and put the incident down to playground bullying, in fact, the schoolboy was humiliated by the canteen staff.
A Desert Cove Elementary second grade pupil – making him around 7 or 8 years old – was branded with a stamp on his wrist reading ‘LUNCH MONEY’ after his account was too low to pay for a meal.
Recalling his reaction, his mother Tara Chavez told Buzzfeed News:
He was screaming and crying the entire time. He was humiliated, didn’t even want me to take a picture of it. My kid’s really weird about stuff like that, so I asked if he was given a choice by the lunch lady.
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.
Furthermore, Chavez, who wishes the boy remain anonymous, added there was 75 cents in her son’s account when she checked following the incident.
My friend's son came home from school Thursday with a stamp on his arm that said "LUNCH MONEY" because his account was low.
— cry dolla $ign (@juanyfbaby) April 1, 2017
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According to the school’s principal, Stacey Orest, when a child doesn’t have enough money in their account to pay for a school lunch, they get either a stamp or a slip to alert parents to the insufficient funds.
She said, ‘[The staff member] doesn’t want the students to be embarrassed either so she is supposed to ask them if they want a stamp or a reminder slip’, adding she would be speaking to the canteen staff about the incident.
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Chavez’s friend, Juan Fortenberry posted a photograph of the ‘brand’ to Twitter where it quickly went viral.
Perhaps the public outrage will lead to greater sensitivity from the system where children are concerned.
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.