A Michigan mother paid off all the students' lunch tabs after her son was denied food because he had an unpaid bill of less than $5.
Amanda Keown took the action after a member of staff snatched a tray from Dominic Gant, according to media reports.
“It was really embarrassing, especially in front of the whole class,” Dominic said, according to KTLA.
When Keown heard, she called the school to complain.
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“I was appalled that he was denied lunch and his lunch was taken out of his hands over $5,” she said.
She decided to pay off all outstanding balances for the students at the high school.
“I realize I didn’t have to do that but I don’t want another kid going through what my son went through,” she added.
The treatment of Gant was not an isolated incident. In 2015, parents in Bedford, Kentucky, complained and accused the school of bullying after a student’s lunch was tossed by a member of staff in front of their friends.
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In Dickinson, Texas, a 12-year-old boy’s breakfast was taken off him over a 30 cent debt.
Advocacy group School Nutritional Association conducted research on the problem and found that based on a representative survey of over 1,100 school nutritional directors working in public school districts across the country, nearly 71 percent said they had unpaid student lunch accounts at the end of the 2012-13 school year, according to the Atlantic.
For many children, a school lunch is the most important meal of the day. A 2015 survey of K-8 teachers revealed that three quarters said they had children coming to school hungry. Among principals, the figure was even higher at 84 percent.