A Michigan mother paid off overdue lunch bills for 19 high school students after her son was denied lunch because he owed less than $5 on his school account.
Dominic Gant, a junior at Dowagiac Union High School, told Fox 8 he was humiliated on Friday when he was served lunch in the cafeteria and then it was taken away from him “right in front of the whole lunch room.”
The 16-year-old’s school, like many others, refuses to serve a hot lunch and sometimes any lunch at all to students will too little money in their lunch account.
Gant had a balance of less than $5.
“I was appalled that he was denied lunch and his lunch was taken out of his hands over $5,” said his mother, Amanda Keown.
When she learned her son came home hungry, Keown called the school and spoke to an administrator, according to Fox 8.
“She asked me where is the cutoff, where do you draw the line with the charges, when do you say no more? And I said there shouldn’t be a line,” Keown said.
The single mother asked what other students other students owed and paid off all the balances. She wrote a check that included an additional $200 to be divided between 19 teenagers with overdue accounts, according to Yahoo! Shine.
“I realize I didn’t have to do that but I don’t want another kid going through what my son went through,” she said.
Since the incident, the school’s principal announced that Dominic should not have been sent home hungry, KFOR reported. He said he should have been given permission to pay another day.
“It would be a very rare situation for a student not to receive their lunch,” Mark Daniel, the superintendent of Dowagiac Union Schools, told Yahoo! Shine.
Daniel says usually students are told to talk to an administrator on duty and they are usually given a lunch.
“The bottom line is that the food is taken from them,” Keown said. “It doesn’t matter whose fault it is. The kids shouldn’t have to pay for that.”