We have a new school policy that is sweeping the nation called “lunch shaming.” It is how schools deal with children whose families have not paid enough money onto their school lunch accounts. The children are being called out publicly and punished with varying degrees of castigation- some physical, some emotional, but all of them designed to correct a parents’ financial problems through inflicting pain on their child. What in the f*ck is wrong with us? How in the name of ANYTHING but evil can we have an organized and legalized system where children who are already burdened by hunger are being beaten down by their school cafeteria with the pain and shame of public humiliation?
I suppose the hunger pains in their stomachs were not enough for them to suffer through. Some complete a**holes sitting on the schoolboard of whatever God-forsaken town they happen to live in decided it would be a good idea for them to be going through the lunch line- probably nervous as hell already- and to have the cashier demand that they roll up their sleeve so that she could stamp in ink on their arm the declaration “I need lunch money.”
A note home was clearly insufficient so the school board decided that stamping a child’s body in full view of his or her classmates was the best way to deliver the message to whoever is at home waiting for the child at the end of the day.
But there are other methods of “lunch shaming” that are arguably worse. How about having children go through the lunch line, receive their lunch tray only to have the cashier DUMP THE FRESH HOT MEAL INTO THE TRASH RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE CHILD AND EVERYONE IN LINE. Statistics show that this may be the only balanced meal that this child will get on a given day and the schoolboard has decided that the best way to spark those deadbeat parents of little Tommy or little Tammy is to have them watch their lunch go into the garbage while they can eat a slice of imitation cheese on a slice of white bread or just go hungry for the rest of the day. I bullsh*t you not, this is happening in our country right now. As if children do not have a hard enough time just dealing with the normal stress of developing socially, these kids get to be publicly bullied by the fu*king lunch-lady now.
Here is my personal favorite: One school district in New Mexico had students with unpaid lunch accounts have to clean off the lunch tables after their classmates ate and throw away the garbage in order for them to “earn” a lunch from the cafeteria. These people who sit on these school boards are out of their rabid-assed minds. And if any of them ever gets elected again, every parent in that district should be ashamed of themselves to have that person as their representative.
This is child cruelty and it is insane how widespread this is. If DFACS discovered this going on in a home, the child might be taken away. And it could be happening in the district that you live in without you knowing anything about it. The reason is that kids do not tell us everything that is going on in school, even when we ask, and if our kids’ lunch account is fine, then how would we know? WE HAVE TO ASK OUR SCHOOLS WHAT THEIR POLICY IS AND BUST THEIR ASSES IF THEY DO ANYTHING LIKE THIS.
And then we can get involved politically. There are great organizations out there dedicated to eradicating child hunger and a great place to focus is in the schools because the law says that is where they have to be more than any place else. Shout out to Viola Davis and Jeff Bridges for throwing their wealth and weight behind one of the best organizations on the scene right now, nokidhungry.org.
Ultimately we have to take ownership over how our culture and our governance has degenerated to the point that we would emotionally batter and traumatize children this way. This is seriously embarrassing that we have fallen this far down the shame spiral of money lust. Is money THAT important to us? Evidently it is. School budgets are tight and all of that but are we really at a point where we are prepared to have a child sitting in classrooms in our country unfed through a school day? How in the f*ck are they supposed to concentrate and learn anything when their stomachs are growing and their hearts are heavy with the weight of humiliation?
And not for nothing but didn’t this new jackass president of ours just announce a $400 billion dollar mission to Mars? Seriously. F*ck Mars, Donald, feed our kids in school so they can make The Earth great again. (Shout out to Bill Maher.) Folks, no matter how bad things may appear to be, there comes a time when you have to decide who you are, what you are about and govern yourself accordingly. That goes for our nation too. We just don’t do this to our children in this country. We have to stop this practice- one parent and one district at a time. I called and checked on mine before I posted this piece and I hope you all do likewise. You may really help a hungry kid you didn’t even know lived in your neighborhood or went to school with yours. Good luck and Godspeed.
∞ Thanks for checking in- Do your thing today and I’ll see you tomorrow π