I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.
Thursday, August 20, 2015
Kindergarten Students SHOULD NOT be Treated Like This!
From a reliable source that does not want to be named--this is what happened in one of our (non-universal free-lunch)elementary schools today
It all started when four kindergartners forgot their lunch money--or their parents forgot to give them the money. When these youngsters reached the cashier with their trays in hand, one by one their lunches were taken from them and dumped in the trash can right in front of them because they did not have their lunch money.
Instead of their normal lunch, each was given two slices of white bread, a slice of american cheese, and a cup of water.
These are kindergartners--not savvy high schoolers trying to get over on the system.
Saddened, traumatized, these 5 year old children began to cry.
One adult present checked and confirmed that two of the four children were, indeed, eligible for free lunch. So they were given a new plate of food (although the previous tray of food was wasted, thrown into the trash according to this witness).
The other two, were left with the cheese sandwich.
One teacher offered to go get money from her classroom to pay for one student, and the cashier held
up the line until that teacher came back and paid.
The fourth student ate the cheese sandwich, and another teacher bought him an orange and a milk.
I get it that we have to collect for our food, but for Kindergartners do we really have to drop the hammer like a mob collection squad??!! I say hell no. And I cannot imagine the heartlessness required to take a kid's lunch and dump it out in front of him. That is borderline bullying behavior so far as I'm concerned.
I'm going to dig into this situation and find a resolution with a better policy; We need to have an extended grace period for these young students who are caught in the middle and just want to have a hot meal with their friends and classmates--instead of being humiliated and demeaned like this.
I'm going to make it my mission to fix this horrible practice with a smart policy that addresses this issue in a more sane, humane, and rational way.