Cafeteria Worker Humiliates 10-Year-Old for Not Having Money to Buy Lunch

school lunch

A school in Kentucky is catching heat for trashing a student's hot lunch in front of her classmates. The reason? The 10-year-old's lunch account was past due.

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Here's what went down: The girl, at Bedford Elementary School, had already been served her hot lunch, and was sitting and eating with her friends. Then, mid-bite, along came some staffer who whisked her lunch away and tossed it in the trash, and handed the girl a replacement lunch (a cheese sandwich).

What the ...? I mean, it would be one thing if the girl were just about to get her lunch and a staffer had said, "sorry, sweetie, we can't because your account is overdue." But if you've already served the girl her lunch, why then toss it in the trash? That's just wasteful, plain and simple.

More from The Stir: Special Needs Child Forced to Go Hungry When School Throws Out His Lunch

The only logic for such a public gesture is that the staffer was trying to make a point. And what she's essentially saying is, "Look, everybody! This girl's parents are so poor they can't afford to buy their daughter a hot lunch!"

And this is horribly damaging to kids because if there's one thing they hate, it's being singled out as different or disadvantages from their peers. They will bend over backwards to fit in and blend in seamlessly with the herd -- and I think this is particularly true with girls.

Plus, when kids get separated from their group, they're a prime candidate at risk for getting teased, bullied, or ostracized further ... which just makes them feel all the more like pariahs. From there, their self-esteem can spiral, as can their grades, and their future.

Now, does all that sound worth tossing a lunch in the trash? Nope. I understand that schools can't just let a lunch balance slide indefinitely, but they should give parents a long grace period, at least for the sake of their kids.

As it turns out, this girl's parents could afford lunch but just weren't aware the bill was overdue. But such nuances will no doubt be lost on many onlookers that day ... not to mention the girl herself.

Many adults who heard about the ruckus were outraged and called the incident "bullying," and I don't blame them: After all, to me, the whole point of public school is to even the playing field. So, anything that highlights kids' disadvantages is just wrong.

I hope the cafeteria worker who did this has learned an important lesson ... and that this girl doesn't get hazed anymore, whether she has her lunch money or not. Here's the video below:

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How would you feel if your child's lunch was trashed in front of other kids?

 

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