Mom Says Boy Hit With 'Poverty Detention' After She Couldn't Afford Class Project Supplies

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Anyone who's been shocked by the price of school supplies each September knows that it isn't cheap to keep your kid in No. 2 pencils and Five Star notebooks. But there's also a difference between simply failing to get all of the "required" new school supplies and not being able to afford them. As one mom on Twitter recently shared, she was heartbroken when she learned that her son had received a detention slip -- for, of all things, not being able to afford supplies for a class project

  • "A poverty detention," the mom wrote in her January 15 tweet. "Is this fair?"

    In the viral post, which has racked up over 12,000 likes so far, @Nabboland shared that her family hadn't been able to afford the ingredients for her son's recent cooking project. Plus, she was barely given any notice -- the school only requested them the day before.

    "So upset about this, it's not his fault!" the mom added in another tweet later in the thread. "Always been ok in the past but recent illness has crippled my finances."

    The mom also shared that her son's school has recently banned hoodies, which has been a struggle for her son, who has autism.

    "[He] won't wear a coat (ever) so today he will be soaking wet and in trouble," she explained. "I feel horrible."
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  • Most people were shocked, and found the school's punishment to be harsh.


    "This is appalling, to treat any kid like this is sickening," one commenter wrote in the thread. "Solidarity to you and family."

    "Absolutely not ... " another person added. "Get straight back to the teacher, then the [Principal] if necessary."

    "Inform the school under no circumstances will you be allowing your child to sit in a detention for something which is completely beyond his, or your control," a third person said. "Absolute disgrace."

  • However, a few others shared that they too had been punished for not being able to pay for supplies.


    "I'm so, so sorry to hear this still goes on in 2020," one commenter wrote. "I used to receive poverty detentions every week as a kid quite a few of my school friends did, we also used to be stood in free school meals line separately, put on separate dinner table, and would be served dinner last."

    "I experienced this as a young child," a second person added. "That bloody calendar we were forced to make. My parents had no money so I took a stand and refused to ask them for the 50 pence towards the cost of making it. Sent to cloakroom for the day as a punishment to think about my actions. 50 years ago."

    Meanwhile, another person shared their own infuriating story:

    "When I was a kid I had this exact same thing. I hated that teacher with a passion. I didn’t want to ask my struggling mum so my friend lent me half of her ingredients and the teacher found out and punished me. How outrageous was she? Never forgot her."

  • In the end, the mom shared that her son did not wind up serving detention. 

    In an update to her original tweet, the mom said she was "overwhelmed" by the response to her story, which prompted her to complain to her son's school. Administrators ultimately agreed with her, and didn't enforce the punishment.

    "I do have confidence that the school will take my complaint seriously," she added. "I believe this was just a problem with one teacher and I will certainly take it further if they don't."

    Some people had even offered to send the mom some money to help her pay for the supplies, but she told them that she'd rather they send her money to homeless shelters or food banks.

    "Thanks so much for being there," she said. "I won't let this issue go but am returning to my quiet corner for now."

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