Would you sacrifice your job so you didn’t have to sacrifice your conscience when it comes to making sure kids are fed?
That was the question cafeteria workerStacey Koltiska was faced with recently, when she was forced totake away a hot lunch from a first grader during the first week of school.
The young child’s parent owed more than $25 in back payments for hot lunches, and Koltiska saidshe couldn’t, in good conscience, work in the lunchroom anymore because she didn’t want to partake in “lunch-shaming.”
It’s part of the new policy for the Canon McMillan School District, outside of Pittsburgh, that says students who owe more than $25 for lunches will not receive a typical hot meal.
Instead, kindergarten through sixth-grade students will receive a cheese sandwich, as state law mandates elementary students are served lunch in school. Students in grades seven through 12 will be given nothing at all.
When she had to literally take the hot lunch out of his hands and replace itwith a plain sandwich, she saw firsthand how humiliating such a policy can be.
I will never forget the look on his face and then his eyes welled up with tears, Koltiska wrote in a Facebook post thats been shared more than 5,000 times.
Superintendent Matthew Daniels said the policy was never intended to shame or embarrass a child.
“We enacted the policy to deal with a backlog of about 300 parents who owed tens of thousands of dollars,” he said. “Now fewer than 70 parents owe money, and the policy isn’t meant to shame students.”
The district said that unpaid lunches result in $60,000 to $100,000 owed to schools annually.
The new policy has cut outstanding lunch debts to less than $20,000.
But for one worker, she felt that it was punishing the students for something their parents had failed to do.
It’s a complex issue with many moving parts, and there is no hard and fast answer.
Which side are you on?
Read more: http://twentytwowords.com/this-school-cafeteria-worker-quit-over-districts-disgusting-lunch-shaming-policy/