A Massachusetts middle school refused to serve lunch to students with negative balances on their lunch cards. Coehlo Middle School has been accused of denying students lunch, regardless of how small the debt is on the pre-paid cards. Kids were even forced to dump the food they were about to eat in the trash. What does this do to a child's psyche?
Whitson's Culinary Group, which manages the school's cafeteria, says 25 children left the space hungry and embarrassed. Jo-An Blanchard, the parent of a Coehlo Middle School student, called the practice "bullying," "neglect" and "child abuse."
After apologizing, principal Andrew Boles blamed Whitson's. "My expectation is that every child, every adult, every parent, every student, every teacher is respected in this building, and that didn't happen yesterday because of Whitson's," he said.
Whitson's also apologized, saying that the company did not intend to deny children food, but the school district has no protocol for what to do in this particular situation. Children with negative balances are usually given "a cheese sandwich, a fruit and vegetable, and milk."
Whitson's spokesperson Holly Von Seggern said cafeteria employees had "taken it upon themselves" to implement a change the company wasn't aware of and never approved.