File this one under "Outrageous." And "Unthinkable." And 'Heads-Are-Gonna-Roll."
I'm sure someone has some serious explaining to do this morning after children in Attleboro, Mass., were denied lunch by an overzealous school lunch vendor who in some instances threw the children's food out right in front of them because they didn't have enough money in their accounts to cover the cost of their meal.
According to an article today in The Boston Globe, as many as 25 students at Coelho Middle School were denied lunch yesterday because they did not have the money in their accounts to cover their food. Mind you, many of the kids had some money in their accounts, just not enough to cover the $2.40 cost of the day's lunch. CNN reported that even five cents of debt was enough for kids to lose their lunch. So it's not like these accounts were already seriously overdrawn. Even though I wouldn't consider that an acceptable reason to throw out a child's lunch in front of them either.
The good nugget of the story is that the kids apparently took it upon themselves to pool their resources as best as they could, sharing an apple here or a bag of chips there with the students who had been denied their lunches. That's awesome. But it should never have had to happen.
Of course, all I keep thinking about is the number of times my own daughter's account has hit rock bottom and I have forgotten to immediately send a check to replenish it. I cannot even imagine how embarrased, confused, and downright hungry she would be if her lunch were thrown away because her account was overdrawn. But I can imagine how seriously ticked off I would be if it happened.
I mean seriously, who would throw out a kid's lunch? Right in front of them? Over $2? That takes a cold-hearted soul.
And one that I think is probably in a lot of hot water this morning.