As we all know, there are many children in America who cannot afford school lunch. Some of these kids are “lucky” (and I use the term loosely) to qualify for free or reduced price school lunches. Others are not. To qualify for these government-sanctioned programs, the children have to be from a family whose income is no more than 30% above the poverty line. That means that a family of four can make no more than $32,000 a year to qualify. Any adult living in America today understands that this is a very difficult – in fact, damn near impossible – amount of money to live on. So, this leads to many children around the country going through the lunch line at school with the inability to pay. However, the tactics used to solve this issue are downright appalling, and they are being deployed all over the nation.
A practice referred to as “lunch shaming” is being used to humiliate poor children around the nation for their inability to pay for their lunches. Some kids are stamped in the lunch line with stamps that say things like, “I need lunch money.” Others are forced to clean tables in the cafeteria in front of other students. Still others even have their hot lunches thrown out for their inability to pay.
All this serves to do is humiliate already struggling children for things that are far beyond their control. Further, in the cases where the lunches are thrown out, the kids are forced to go hungry. Even worse, some of these kids only get fed at school, so that means that they are literally starving when their one source of food is denied to them.
This kind of thing has lifelong effects. Luckily, New Mexico has become the first state to try to put a stop to the practice of lunch shaming. They have introduced legislation that would outlaw the practice, and would make it illegal to engage in any conversations regarding a student’s ability to pay for lunch at school with anyone but the student’s parents or guardians.
The entire nation needs to follow in New Mexico’s footsteps. The fact that this sort of thing is happening in the United States of America at all is disgraceful. We should all be ashamed.
Watch the video report on this practice below, via AJ+ on Twitter:
Children are being shamed for not having lunch money across the U.S. pic.twitter.com/4uSyIJYIGI
— AJ+ (@ajplus) April 17, 2017
Featured image via video screen capture