School skimped on lunch

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I would like The Augusta Chronicle, school board members, the CSRA and parents of pupils at Rollins Elementary School to know about a matter that took place Jan. 3.

My niece forgot her lunch that was prepared for her at home. She had a lunch ticket, and thought she had a day’s lunch on it because she hadn’t received any type of pink slip saying her ticket had expired. The lunchroom staff told her they would give her two slices of bread and cheese and a fruit cup for lunch.

They didn’t even give her the opportunity to call her parents or any other family members to bring the lunch or money to her so she could have a substantial lunch. Plus, it was very humiliating to my niece to have to sit with her classmates and eat what she had, while they had a very good, substantial lunch. Plus, the children who receive free lunches ate better.

I don’t think you should show a difference between any children.

Get this: Richmond County talks about good nutrition. I don’t call a piece of cheese between slices of bread nutrition.

I hope this never happens again to any child.

Patsy Braswell

Augusta

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david jennings
590
Points
david jennings 01/20/12 - 07:52 am
0
0
While I think most anyone

While I think most anyone would have been glad to pay for the childs lunch, I believe most of the pain was from the humiliation. There is usually two ways to look at a misfortune, I say it should be turned to a positive. Is the cup half full or half empty? A chance to learn responsibility, humility, there is always much to be thankful for. It was yesterday and yesterday is gone, this is a new day and I won't forget my lunch again. Be an optimist, the experience has made you a stronger better person.

proud2bamerican
441
Points
proud2bamerican 01/20/12 - 08:27 am
0
0
I agree with David. The child

I agree with David. The child could have been taught a lesson in humility instead of finger pointing, blaming and criticizing. The child should be taught that 'these things happen', 'sorry you didn't get a nice lunch', but also taught that this is NOT a big deal. The attitude in the article shows that it was not used as a positive learning experience for the child; just more resentment for not getting what they 'deserved'. There will be bigger and more important issues for this child to face, and they need to be taught how to handle the little ones in a gracious and positive manner in order to handle things well later in life. Finally, the child needs to be taught to speak up for himself/herself by requesting to call home. If they denied that request then that might be a problem, but just saying "they" didn't give her the opportunity only sounds like more finger pointing. Teach a useful lesson out of this small matter and move on - for the child's sake!!

harley_52
23272
Points
harley_52 01/20/12 - 08:52 am
0
0
Are the tickets marked with

Are the tickets marked with an expiration date?

The girl was not mistreated. This is a specious complaint which should probably be addressed to the girl's parents who likely dropped the ball on the lunch ticket's expiration. The school's actions were appropriate and somewhat generous.

Iwannakno
1533
Points
Iwannakno 01/20/12 - 10:29 am
0
0
The school has a
Unpublished

The school has a responsibility to let the child's parents know by letter that their account is low. This also happened to my son. He asked to use the phone in the office to call home so that he could be brought lunch money and was refused. Yet, when I went to the school to ask why I wasn't informed of his low account I saw multiple children use the phone in the very same office for personal calls. Children are not responsible for their lunch debt, parents are. It is easy to forget to send lunch money with your child if you live in a house where both parents split the task of taking the child to school. The school would be out of no money by allowing the child to eat the normal lunch and sending the letter home that day. The letter doesn't sound like a bitter letter more of a reminder what can happen and why it shouldn't.

Iwannakno
1533
Points
Iwannakno 01/20/12 - 10:32 am
0
0
Harley I'm not sure how it's
Unpublished

Harley I'm not sure how it's done now but at the time my 3 kids were in school it was all computerized. All they did was give the last 4 digits of their social when in the lunch line. I don't know the age of the girl in this letter but my son was only 11.

Dudeness
1544
Points
Dudeness 01/20/12 - 10:31 am
0
0
This was a lost opportunity

This was a lost opportunity to teach the child and the parent that there are consequences to our actions. One aspect is that her lunch was prepared, but that she did not take it, so she lost out on that lunch. Another was that the parents apparently did not keep up with how many lunches she still had coming, so the child paid for that lapse as well. Also, it is never a good idea to point to another bad example for why your child should receive a hand-out (free lunches).

Iwannakno
1533
Points
Iwannakno 01/20/12 - 10:34 am
0
0
It would not have been a
Unpublished

It would not have been a handout. The parents would have paid when informed. Kids have a responsibility to be kids. The school should have let the parents know. They would have been more than willing to pay. No free handouts were asked for.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 01/20/12 - 10:46 am
0
0
This girl was forced to eat

This girl was forced to eat this lunch because there are many loser parents who, in the past, refused to pay for their little darlings meals. It has forced the schools to provide only minimal food, at minimal expense, if the account is not current.

Don't blame the school. Blame the losers who never pay.

razordog
195
Points
razordog 01/20/12 - 04:04 pm
0
0
HOLD ON A MINUTE!!!! I am

HOLD ON A MINUTE!!!! I am reading that most of you blame the parents for this happening. The parents are not always to blame. A friend of mine had a similar incident happen to her daughter in a private school. She sent the money, but the person in the office who was responsible for collecting lunch money and reporting to the lunchroom was somewhat incompetent. Notice I said "WAS"!!! This child's lunch was paid for, but the lunchroom was not aware of it, and she was told that "we will give you what's left over" which did not set well with my friend. This child was in the 4th grade at the time and tried to explain to the lunch lady that her lunch had been paid for. Their response was "you're not on the list for lunch today" and she had to eat after everyone else who "paid" went through the line, and she only received left overs. Keep in mind that in private school, there is no such thing as free lunch. I realize that some parents are not as responsible as others (NOT calling them losers). The letter does not state how old the child is, but the point is that this is still a CHILD who forgot her lunch and who deserves a lunch just like everyone else, free or not (and from the letter, it doesn't sound like she was on free lunch). I'm sure that the school does not prepare exactly the amount of lunches that are paid for, and a letter should have been sent home stating that the child "charged" lunch for that day. I am willing to bet that the lady who wrote this letter would make sure that the school got their money for that day's lunch.

Bruno
780
Points
Bruno 01/20/12 - 04:40 pm
0
0
The girl forgot her lunch. So

The girl forgot her lunch. So it was the girl and her parents' fault that she didn't have a lunch to begin with. This isn't a statement of judgement but only one of fact. BTW, I am sure that you have heard that there is no such thing as a free lunch. My guess is that if the student had made her teacher aware of her situation it would have been taken care of. Most teachers I know would have paid for her lunch and let her parents know of the debt. My guess is that she waited until lunch and only told the lunchroom staff.

sunny13
6
Points
sunny13 01/20/12 - 06:51 pm
0
0
Do not try to blame kids and

Do not try to blame kids and parents that are on free lunch. Those kids deserve to eat the same as any other student. I worked in school nutrition for over 20 years and know the system quite well. She was given what she was supposed to be given. Something to hold her over. The nutrition staff is not responsible for telling her to call home. The teacher and the aide are and should have been made aware if they were not. There is a huge problem these days with parents not paying their child's lunch charges and getting away with it. Columbia County parents last year owed over 30,000.00 dollars in lunch fees because the nutrition staff could not say NO to the kids. Nobody wants to see these kids go hungry at lunch especially the nutrition staff but their hands are tied. It is very hard for the staff in the nutrition dept. to call every parent that owes money. Notes are sent home regularly and ignored all the time. I know a lot of the nutrition staff at CCBOE keep spare change around for kids like this not for it to be abused. In the end you as a parent are responsible for keeping up with your child's account and calling the manager if you need extra time for getting money on the account. Keep up with your kids and their schools!

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 01/20/12 - 07:02 pm
0
0
I'll bet the little girl

I'll bet the little girl isn't nearly as devastated as the aunt. Life happens; help her learn to grow in her adversity instead of blaming others. It's the only thing that works in the long run.

wondersnevercease
9218
Points
wondersnevercease 01/20/12 - 07:27 pm
0
0
boy o boy..if the child was a
Unpublished

boy o boy..if the child was a "special" child and received free lunch...the people would be falling all over themselves to make sure she had the best they had to offer....God help the children of tax paying parents.........

madgerman
236
Points
madgerman 01/20/12 - 07:55 pm
0
0
What the writter forgot to
Unpublished

What the writter forgot to write about should have went this way. "The very next day I talked to the principal about the situation and it was? I also intend to bring this up at the very next PTA meeting to see if my child is the only one this has happened to and if others are involved I intend to address the RCBOE at its next meeting". I say this because apparently the parent didn't talk to anyone at the school. P.S. I don't think the child is in any danger of health problems because she missed part of lunch however, the mother should have seen the missed lunch and took it to school,

GaStang22
910
Points
GaStang22 01/20/12 - 08:18 pm
0
0
Oh my Gosh!! Really??? The
Unpublished

Oh my Gosh!! Really??? The only thing missing was a piece of bologna. What you described is a typical sack lunch minus meat. They have that on several different occasions. She wasn't neglected. why didn't the parent make sure she had her lunch, why didn't they make sure she had money on the card for an emergency?? She got a lesson in not forgetting your lunch and having "some" consequences and probably wont do it again. Guess the parents/aunt didn't learn that lesson and want to blame someone else for their irresponsibility for their child. When I was in school if you forgot your lunch card you got nothing!!! Taught me real quick to remember! The school fed her, actually the taxpayers did, be thankful not upset that your family dropped the ball and no one cleaned up your mess!!!!

GaStang22
910
Points
GaStang22 01/20/12 - 08:26 pm
0
0
madgerman, why talk to the
Unpublished

madgerman, why talk to the principal or PTA. Why is it their problem? This seems like a family problem. The kid forgot and so did the parents, on the lunch and back up money! It is the parents responsibility, no one else's, especially if its a kindergartener or something. What responsibility are the adults taking? The school fed her. Why is it anyone's problem but theirs? I wonder if the parents are this irate or this is just the aunt's own entitlement rant???? I'd feel foolish and embarassed and definately wouldn't put this out there for everyone to see my irresponsibility and entitlement attitude. I wonder if the parents arent to happy about this being spread through town now!! lol

raul
4864
Points
raul 01/20/12 - 10:19 pm
0
0
@GaStang. You're right.

@GaStang. You're right. Obviously Ms. Braswell wrote this letter with the intent of garnering support for her issue. After reading all of the comments, I would say Ms. Braswell pretty much got kicked to the curb. Maybe the comments will give her some insight as to why the position she took wasn't supportable. I doubt it though.

allhans
23641
Points
allhans 01/20/12 - 11:38 pm
0
0
What is humiliating about

What is humiliating about saying a simple "I forgot my lunch today".

mybaskett
224
Points
mybaskett 01/21/12 - 12:14 am
0
0
Ms. Braswell has my support.

Ms. Braswell has my support. My son has ADD and he does not receive free nor reduced lunch. Occasionally he forgets to tell me that he needs lunch money. This is because he takes his lunch two to three days a week. But, because my money pays for services in the nutrition dept. my child should not be given peanut butter or cheese sandwiches becasue he forgot to tell mom that he needs more lunch money. My ADD child who pays full price gets a cheese sandwich for not being responsible and the student that gets free lunch gets a hot lunch that my funds may have paid for. Seriously? The best thing for Both Richmond and Columbia county to do is put the lunch accounts online. Then as parents we can check our students account and pay them accordingly. Make it simple.

Iwannakno
1533
Points
Iwannakno 01/21/12 - 12:19 am
0
0
Lots of good Christian folk
Unpublished

Lots of good Christian folk would rather a child be punished than give her a decent meal. whats the cutoff age for it? 5...10? If she a teenager I would agree but she is at the most 10 or 11.

GaStang22
910
Points
GaStang22 01/21/12 - 04:25 am
0
0
mybaskett, I agree that tons
Unpublished

mybaskett, I agree that tons of kids get free lunch because their parents are irresponsible and lazy on your dime and that isn't fair, but that has nothing to do with this situation. With all due respect, If you know your kid has ADD and forgets sometimes, why dont you help him as that is a parents job, no one else's. I always check to make sure my kid has his lunch or has the money on his account. You could do the same. Obviously you are from Richmond county because Columbia County already has it online. Join the PTO and push for it in Richmond.

"Then as parents we can check our students account and pay them accordingly. Make it simple." Yes online makes it easier, but you may forget to check that also and it could run out...... then who's fault again? Can't you call and ask how much is on the account? Keep track of it like you would a checkbook register so you know when its time to check again and add more? Why not as part of a routine, ask every morning before he leaves, leave reminders for him, etc......? When does it become the parents responsibility for their own kid rather than someone else's? It shouldn't become... It should have started that way. How do you think people did it before online? Why would they give a kid who forgot theirs free lunch? Oh wait, they do, just not the fancy one. What if they did that for all kids who forgot their lunch and they all did it 3 times a week, where does it end? We would end up paying even more in taxes to cover that cost too because parents would be pushing more of their responsibilities off on others. It isn't like the kids arent fed. What is the incentive to remember if the lunch isn't basic?? Just as probably 3/4 of the kids who get free lunch do so because their parents are being irresponsible and lazy on yours and my dime, a paying parent would then be one of those parents if every time they slacked someone covered them. They do feed a kid without lunch, just not the "entitlement" quality preferred.

GaStang22
910
Points
GaStang22 01/21/12 - 04:27 am
0
0
Same goes for any other gov't
Unpublished

Same goes for any other gov't assistance. Why should people get EBT to eat like kings with steak, name brand everything and little debbies rather than basic generic nutritional foods, while others have to buy generics and bologna to make their grocery budget stretch? Where is the incentive to do ones part as a responsible parent and citizen???? In this country, the bleeding hearts dont allow it. See what backlash they get for trying to just push a little self responsibility?

I completely sympathize with being fed up paying for others and getting no help youself, I hate it more than anyone I think and its hard to keep strong, but if we all do what the ones with their hands out all the time do, there will be no self supporting responsible people left in this country!!! lol The answer isn't lets all put our hand out, its stop putting the money in the outstretched hands!!! =)

Bruno
780
Points
Bruno 01/21/12 - 10:27 am
0
0
mybaskett, with all due

mybaskett, with all due respect, your son's ADD has nothing to do with getting a "free" or reduced lunch. Those programs are based on financial need. Also, at the risk of being blunt, your child shouldn't have to tell you he needs lunch money. As a parent your child's nutritional needs are your responsibility. As to simple, you can simply ask your child if he needs lunch money. That way you don't have to shift the responsibility of feeding your child onto someone else.

Cadence
219
Points
Cadence 01/21/12 - 11:32 am
0
0
It doesn't take much to

It doesn't take much to embarrass a child and I have always tried to avoid doing so. However I know from personal experience as an adult school volunteer that kids can be treated quite rudely by educators and staff. Children can't fight back. It shows your true nature how you use your power over those who can't respond in kind.

Bruno
780
Points
Bruno 01/21/12 - 12:08 pm
0
0
Cadence, there was no abuse

Cadence, there was no abuse of power nor any rudeness in this issue.

mlch
2
Points
mlch 01/21/12 - 06:45 pm
0
0
Mrs. Braswell. First I am

Mrs. Braswell. First I am thinking you don't understand what a substantial lunch consists of. Two breads, a cheese, a fruit cup and probably a carton of milk would account for everything a child needs minus the vegetable which she may not have eaten anyway. Humiliated because of what she had to eat? are you kidding? Just wait for high school--she will be critiqued for much much more than what she puts in her mouth. I am curious whether or not this child had breakfast. If not, I'll guarantee she was hungry. Also wondering why her mother didn't write the letter to the editor. Your niece's parents are ultimately responsible for making sure that she leaves with lunch in hand when she walks out the door. When she gets to high school, she'll ask her friends for something to eat or she'll dig around in her backpack for a few bucks to pay for the lunch. The problem with "charging" lunches is that parents don't pay back. The little girl is fortunate to have been offered anything and you, her parents and the girl should be thanking the lunchroom ladies for the complete lunch she was given. Perhaps you should volunteer in the lunchroom to police lunches and make sure everyone has a substantial lunch. So many lessons to learn here. MLCH

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