An elementary school forced a student to throw away her hot lunch because funds in her account were low.
Staff at Westville Elementary initially allowed the girl to pass through the lunch line with no problems. A few moments later, just as she started eating, another student approached her and told her the lunch lady wanted to speak with her.
The hot lunch meal was allegedly taken away from her by the lunch lady and a substitute meal given of a cheese sandwich and milk.
The hot lunch the child had already eaten a portion of was thrown away.
The 11-year-old called her mother in tears after the incident and is reportedly very embarrassed.
"I can't believe that an adult...I don't care what profession you're in, would take food from a child and throw it away...in front of her peers and think that's ok," said the girl’s mother, Cheryl Stinson.
Westville Elementary has a school policy that states, “when a student reaches $4.50 of debt, a supplemental lunch or breakfast will be given to the student.”
Stinson claims her daughter’s account was not negative and that the school had not notified her that the account was low on funds. She believes the schools policy is wasteful.
"You can't tell me that it's more cost effective to throw away the food and replace it with something no one wants to eat,” Stinson said.
"The faculty and staff at Westville schools are concerned about the happiness and well-being of every student. We regret how this incident was handled and I personally apologize to the child for the embarrassment this has caused her,” said Metropolitan School District of New Durham Superintendent Curtiss Strietelmeier in a statement sent to FOX28.
Westville school parents have expressed their concern over the way the situation was handled.
"People are struggling already and just to toss it away and give her a sandwich. I don't see the point of doing that," said parent Elizabeth Hendricks.
Superintendent Strietelmeier has since changed school policy. A student will stil receive a supplemental lunch if their account is empty but they will never be approached by school staff and made to throw out their food.
Photo Source: FOX28