Certain disputes should be left between adults.
Employees from Bedford Elementary School have some serious explaining to do after tossing a 10-year-old girl's hot lunch in response to a financial issue. WAVE 3 News reports the grade-schooler was crying and embarrassed as the "disciplinary action" took place in front of her friends. In exchange for throwing her lunch in the trash, they replaced it with a cheese sandwich.
"Someone came and took her lunch while she was sitting there with her friends and everybody else," said Leslie Chilton, aunt of the young girl and Bedford Elementary PTO treasurer. "It was awful to think about her being there, sitting there, and she was crying."
Relatives of the little girl are extremely upset — to say the least — and allege they never received any past due notices from the school about the girl's lunch account. "There's no sense of treating any kid that way," said Doug Joyce, the little girl's grandfather. "I think it's all bullying. If the schools can't figure out a better way of doing it than that, they don't need to be running the schools."
Parents with children who attend the school are just as upset and demand change in how such matters are handled. "How is it moral to do this to children, who have no control over the situation, whatever the situation may be?" questions Kim Wright. "How is it ethical?" Since the incident, Wright has started a petition that would impact the school district's policy. It has received over 1,100 signatures.
Since news broke of Bedford Elementary's actions, a Trimble County School Board Chair announced there will be a special public meeting on June 17 to address the incident. This, of course, came after parents and WAVE 3 News received little to no response from the school board.
There are simply no words to express my reaction if my child came home crying that a school employee threw away his lunch. He has zero involvement when it comes to household bills. Did school employees think this student would simply open her wallet and pay for the past due account herself? Maybe the little girl's family forgot about the bill, never received one or experienced a temporary financial setback. Regardless, there's zero justification for shaming a young child, whether in public or private. If it were truly that serious, they should've pulled her aside in the lunch line and given her the alternative lunch instead of serving one that would later end up in the trash. Talk about a poorly delivered message and waste of food.
If we are responsible for showing the future generation the way, this is a horrible misstep.
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