The mother of a 12-year-old boy at a Houston-area middle school in Texas is outraged after a lunch worker reportedly threw the boy’s breakfast away because he didn’t have the 30 cents to pay for it.
Jennifer Castilleja’s son is a sixth-grader at Barber Middle School in Dickinson who uses an account, in which his mother deposits money, to pay for his meals at school. Last week, he was 30 cents short, local ABC affiliate KTRK-TV first reported.
“My son called me and told me if I can bring him some money, because they took his breakfast from him and he needed money for breakfast,” Castilleja told the station.
“I said, ‘Well, I’m on my way. I’ll pay for it,’” the mother continued, but the cafeteria server threw the food into the trash and sent the 12-year-old boy to class, she said.
“There was kids all around him,” Castilleja said. “I think he may have been a little embarrassed and upset and of course hungry.”
The Dickinson Independent School District is standing by it’s policy not to allow students to charge meals.
“Dickinson ISD’s procedure is that we do not allow student charges for breakfast. Many school districts follow this same procedure. Students get a verbal warnings to let parents know once the account starts getting low. Written warnings are sent home to parents before money runs out.”
The mother admits either her son forgot to relay the warning or she forgot to add money to his account. Still, she thinks the policy should be more lenient.
“Or telling the child, we are going to feed you, but go to the office and call your parent and let them know that you need money,” Castilleja told KTRK-TV. “Anything than sending them to class hungry.”
She ended up bringing her son a breakfast that morning, along with some money for his lunch, the station reported.