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Student's breakfast trashed for 30-cent shortage

texas cafeteria server policy school districts replenish account

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#1 Hum

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 01:05

DICKINSON, TX (KTRK) -- A 12-year-old Dickinson student's breakfast was tossed in the trash, because his account was short by just 30 cents. His mother is upset, so we went to the school district to ask questions about their policy -- one they say they stand by.

 Jennifer Castilleja had to make an extra trip to her son's middle school in Dickinson Wednesday morning.

She said, "My son called me and asked me if I could bring him some money because they took his breakfast from him and he needed money for breakfast."

Her son, a sixth grader at Barber Middle School in Dickinson ISD is on reduced meals. He pays for his meals from an account that his mother deposits money into, but it was empty.

"I said, 'Well, I'm on my way, I'll pay for it,'" Castilleja recalled. "And she said no, I would have to bring some money before he could have breakfast."

The reduced breakfast only cost 30 cents, but the cafeteria server went ahead and threw the boy's breakfast away and sent him to class. :/

Castilleja said, "There were kids all around him. I think he may have been a little embarrassed and upset and, of course, hungry."

We spoke with Dickinson ISD and they said it's a policy they stand by.

"Dickinson ISD's procedure is that we do not allow student charges for breakfast. Many school districts follow this same procedure. Students get verbal warnings to let parents know once the account starts getting low. Written warnings are sent home to parents before money runs out."

Castilleja admits either her son forgot to relay the verbal warning or she forgot to replenish his account. Either way, she feels the policy should allow for breakfast charges that can be repaid.

"Or telling the child, we are going to feed you, but go to the office and call your parent and let them know that you need money," Castilleja suggested. "Anything than sending them to class hungry."

There's no word if Dickinson ISD plans to amend the breakfast policy. Castilleja took breakfast to her son and money for lunch.

source




#2 streetw0lf

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 01:13

Just call Saul.



#3 FloatingFatMan

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 08:34

1. Why isn't her son having his breakfast at home, before he goes to school?

2. Seriously? They decided it was better to THROW THE FOOD IN THE GARBAGE, thus wasting food and the money it cost to produce, that just giving it to a hungry kid and sorting it out with his mother later?  Someone needs to take a seriously look at their policies, because that's a huge waste of money if it happens often.



#4 Soldiers33

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 08:51

huge waste of money? more like huge waste of food.



#5 REM2000

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 09:40

1. Why isn't her son having his breakfast at home, before he goes to school?

2. Seriously? They decided it was better to THROW THE FOOD IN THE GARBAGE, thus wasting food and the money it cost to produce, that just giving it to a hungry kid and sorting it out with his mother later?  Someone needs to take a seriously look at their policies, because that's a huge waste of money if it happens often.

 

i was going to ask the same thing re:point 1, they do brekfast in schools in the US? 



#6 Julius Caro

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 09:45

nothing angers me more than perfectly good food going to waste. (the whole we wont feed ur child who is 30 cents short is questionable, sure, but throwing the food away? )



#7 +zhiVago

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 09:48

A 12-year-old Dickinson student's breakfast was tossed in the trash, because his account was short by just 30 cents.

 

just 30 cents, eh?

 

The reduced breakfast only cost 30 cents

 

Oh, so he was actually short 100% cost of the meal!

 

but the cafeteria server went ahead and threw the boy's breakfast away and sent him to class.

 

:angry:



#8 +Nik L

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 09:53

1. Why isn't her son having his breakfast at home, before he goes to school?

 

Because other arrangements have been made and catered for.  What is your point here?  Are you going to provide a breakfast daily for 30c?

 

2. Seriously? They decided it was better to THROW THE FOOD IN THE GARBAGE, thus wasting food and the money it cost to produce, that just giving it to a hungry kid and sorting it out with his mother later?  Someone needs to take a seriously look at their policies, because that's a huge waste of money if it happens often.

 

This is what I have issue with.  It was already in-hand, the mother was going to come and pay for it - it was already prepped... But hey let's throw perfectly good food in the bin!



#9 goodbytes

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 10:07

That policy is disgusting.. I work in a school and the main priority is making sure children are prepped to be educated before they enter the classroom, this includes not being hungry.  We have a breakfast club that allows children to come in early to get a proper breakfast, and every child is handed something to eat (usually fruit) as they greeted at the door every morning. Non payment is a big issue it all gets put on an account and send regular reminders to parents to make sure they pay as soon as they can, but the child going without food because their payment is not up to date wouldn't happen here.



#10 Daedroth

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 10:10

I think something similar case in the UK recently. A student was refused lunch because his account didn't have enough credit. The school refused to allow students to go into negative credit and it caused a little stir in the media.



#11 theyarecomingforyou

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 10:24

1. Why isn't her son having his breakfast at home, before he goes to school?

One would assume it's because she can't afford to. I think it's pretty clear that the child comes from a poor family, hence the reduced cost meals at school. Regardless, as you said the food had already been prepared and the mother was on her way - it doesn't make any sense to throw away good food and humiliate the child.



#12 OP Hum

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 11:07

Surely the schools/cafeteria could extend 1 dollar in credit for such lapses.

 

Common sense and schools don't mix well.



#13 McKay

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 11:14

Surely the schools/cafeteria could extend 1 dollar in credit for such lapses.

 

Common sense and schools don't mix well.

 

Zero Tolerance and Common Sense don't blend. A smart thing would have been to credit him the 30 cents for the meal, and claim it back later. They wouldn't have wasted a meal, and a student would concentrate better in class. Ultimately their lack of common sense cost them an entire meal. It's stupid that they lost a meal anyway, and a Student went hungry at the same time. 



#14 theyarecomingforyou

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 11:27

 

Surely the schools/cafeteria could extend 1 dollar in credit for such lapses.

Zero Tolerance and Common Sense don't blend. A smart thing would have been to credit him the 30 cents for the meal, and claim it back later. They wouldn't have wasted a meal, and a student would concentrate better in class. Ultimately their lack of common sense cost them an entire meal. It's stupid that they lost a meal anyway, and a Student went hungry at the same time. 

I would have thought that schools would have a discretionary fund for situations like this. It simply doesn't make sense to waste money throwing away good food when the parent was willing to pay for it. Even if there was a strict rule prohibiting the school from extending credit to the student a teacher could have simply fronted the money themselves. I mean, we're not talking about big money here.



#15 +riahc3

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 11:49

Hello,

1. Why isn't her son having his breakfast at home, before he goes to school?

 

i was going to ask the same thing re:point 1, they do brekfast in schools in the US?

Yes, this is perfectly normal. Sometimes, because of time and other things, you cannot have breakfast at home and have it at school before entering class.

I know Im going to flamed for this but the problem with this is that if one kid does it (owe 30 cents), then another and another and etc....It all adds up. Yup, it is tough but it clearly says that a verbal AND written reminder is sent so.....and the mother admits she forgot to fill it up.

I disagree with perfectly good food being thrown away but....