Elementary school kids' lunches seized because of debt.
An elementary school in Salt Lake City handles outstanding school lunch debt by taking food away from kids, and then throwing that food away.
Kids are being humiliated because of something their parents need to handle.
Look, the lunches have to be paid for. I get that. But instead of throwing the food out, just let the kid have it and give them a note to take home reminding their parents that their accounts are out of money. Most parents will pay up.
When I was in second grade, school lunches were paid for with tickets; we bought them in booklets of 10 or 20, and traded one ticket for one hot lunch. One day I went through the lunch line and reached for my little booklet, and discovered I had no more tickets.
|I wish lunch had looked like this...|
The horrible mean man at the cash register looked at my empty ticket booklet, told me I needed to be more aware of how many tickets I had, then handed me a slip to give to my mom that basically said, "Your kid got a free lunch today, but please take care of this."
Did some parents take advantage of that policy, which made sure grade school kids still got their lunches?
I'm sure some did. I'm sure even more made sure that their kids had enough money to buy a new lunch ticket booklet, and to pay for the free lunch they'd been given (which, if I recall correctly, was never accepted. Because forgotten lunch money happens.)
But hell, you want to really invest in education, make an impact that will likely do more for kids' ability to learn? Give them ALL free lunch, every single day. Make breakfast available every single day. Because if you keep decent food in a kid during the school day, you have a kid who is less fidgety, more able to concentrate, and more willing to expend energy in learning.
But that would cost money.
Find the money. Look to the schools that have already been experimenting with this concept and find where they're getting the money--because it's being done.
Raise my taxes?
Hell yes. If I can be guaranteed that a .05 to .1% hike on my property taxes would go towards free hot lunches for every kid in school, I'd gladly pay it. With legal, law-bound assurances that it will always go towards that, and that it cannot ever be switched to something else, I would have zero problems with that.
But *I* don't have kids in school, why should I pay that? I don't want my taxes to go to schools.
Tough shit, sunshine. I don't have school-aged kids, either, but this is an investment in everyone's future, in the kids that will run the country someday. And not wanting tax money to go towards schools? I don't want my taxes to pay anyone remotely involved with the Tea Party, but I don't get a say in that. Other people don't want their taxes funding the military, but they don't get a say in that. We don't get to pick and choose exactly where our tax dollars go, so...suck on it.
Feed the kids, dammit. And don't take away food when it's only going to be thrown away. That's so wasteful, and in the end the kids are the ones hurt by it.
Yes, I am ticked off by this. Very, very ticked off by this.