A Texas school is standing by its policy after cafeteria workers threw a sixth grader’s breakfast in the trash when they realized his account was short 30 cents.
Jennifer Castilleja told KTRK that she offered to come to the school Wednesday morning and pay for the breakfast but Barber Middle School in Dickinson ISD refused to feed her 12-year-old unless it got the money first. As a part of the reduced meal program, Castilleja’s son pays only 30 cents for each breakfast, but his account had run out of money.
“My son called me and asked me if I could bring him some money because they took his breakfast from him and he needed money for breakfast,” she recalled.
“I said, ‘Well, I’m on my way, I’ll pay for it,’” Castilleja told the school. “And she said no, I would have to bring some money before he could have breakfast.”
“There were kids all around him. I think he may have been a little embarrassed and upset and, of course, hungry.”
Dickinson ISD explained to KTRK that Castilleja should have known her son’s account was running low.
“Dickinson ISD’s procedure is that we do not allow student charges for breakfast,” the district said in a statement. “Many school districts follow this same procedure. Students get verbal warnings to let parents know once the account starts getting low. Written warnings are sent home to parents before money runs out.”
But Castilleja felt like there was more the school could have done.
“Telling the child, we are going to feed you, but go to the office and call your parent and let them know that you need money,” she said. “Anything than sending them to class hungry.”
Watch this video from KTVT, broadcast Nov. 6, 2013.
[Girl student holding school lunch tray (Shutterstock.com)]