Whitfield County Schools Are Shaming Kids With Food Program Policy - And Response (2)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I have a better idea for Whitfield County School system. Right now If a child is behind on paying for their lunch, they are denied a hot lunch. Instead they hand the child a cold cheese sandwich and a carton of milk.  

I doubt if that meets the FDA standards for school lunches, but even more important, it lets the whole school population know that that child is obviously inferior to the other children. Most people have no idea what that does to a child's self esteem.  

I can tell you first hand. Through no fault of my own, way back in the 60s, I was one of maybe eight or 10 kids at White Oak elementary school on the free lunch program. Every morning when the teacher called the role each child would take their quarter to the teachers desk for lunch. When she called my name I had to stand up and say "free lunch program."  Even better in the sixth grade, when lunch was over one other student and I had to sweep the cafeteria because we were on the free lunch program and should earn our lunch. They called us janitors.  

I'm 60 years old.  I haven't forgotten the shame I felt for being poor.  So, superintendent, the next time  you want to shame a child in your school system, call me. I'll pay for their lunch somehow.

Harry Presley
Chattanooga

* * *

If Mr. Presley is correct - denying a child a hot lunch punishes the wrong person.  Not to mention - it humiliates the child. Bullying is a major problem in schools everywhere.  Why give bullies a reason?  

Maybe they can require the parents to provide a service, after hours, to supplement the lunch program - help coach, help referee, help organize a school dance, help clean-up after a game or dance - any number of things rather force a CHILD to pay for the sins of someone else.  The world is tough enough as it is - no reason to destroy a kid's self esteem before he/she has a chance to build one.

George Parker

* * *

I agree with Mr. Presley and Mr. Parker, it is a tough situation for the children. This probably goes on all over the nation and is such a petty way to have to treat these children. What has caused us to not have plenty of money for such an important thing as a good meal for a child? Our politicians have and are wasting it and is a good reason to hold our elected officials accountable when they waste our families tax money. 

All of us can think of a zillion ways they waste money that could be used for truly useful and needed, not wanted, necessities, like a hot meal for children. Elections are coming up soon and in the future, also, look around, pay attention and if they are in the pockets of the well to do, well connected and filter our tax money to them, shame them, instead of the children, fire each and everyone that takes from our families. Thanks.

Joe Blevins
Guild, Tn.



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