Several sources say that on his ninth birthday, an Ohio youngster who owed money had his school meal taken away.
Green Primary School pupil Jefferson Sharpnack in Uniontown decided to pack some cheesy bread sticks for lunch.
When he went to pay for his dinner, the cashier just pulled the tray away and put a cheese sandwich on it.
And it all stemmed from a supposed $9 lunch debt. According to a News 5 Cleveland article, Jefferson was meant to be enrolled in a free-and-reduced lunch programme after moving home with his grandmother, Diane Bailey.
He returned home with a message indicating he owed $9 to his lunch account while they waited for the paperwork to finish.
As Bailey was sure he was in good standing, he contacted the school to resolve the situation. The birthday child, however, was publicly humiliated when his lunch order was refused, and I don’t think he owed anybody anything.
Bailey told Fox 5 Cleveland, “I owed the money, the parents, and the school system. And my second question is, do they have to throw away the food if they remove it from your tray? You’d steal from a serving dish, but reservations aren’t allowed. Well, you’re going to toss it and not feed the kid? To me, it makes no sense at all.”
Once Jefferson’s tale went viral online, the school administration conceded and changed its stance. Superintendent Jeff Miller of Green Local Schools informed parents in a letter sent home on Monday that their children will be given a free, regular lunch every day, regardless of their account balance. “We recognize the significant burden placed on families’ budgets and the difficulties posed by the rising expense of school breakfast and lunches,” the letter said.