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Sorry, Kid. No Money, No Lunch

(CNN) — Students at an Attleboro, Massachusetts, middle school went hungry this week, if they had a negative balance on their pre-paid lunch cards. Five cents of debt was enough for cafeteria employees at the Coehlo Middle School to instruct kids at least one day last week to dump out the food they would have normally eaten.

About 25 children left the lunchroom with empty stomachs.

emptytrayOK, deep breath… Blood shot from my eyes when I came across this story!  Middle school kids that showed up at the school cafeteria for lunch, those that are lucky enough to have piece of crap parents, got a taste of the “real world” when they were told they couldn’t eat the lunch they received.

All because they had a negative balance on their prepaid lunch cards.

I say “real world” because in the “real world” you don’t get your lunch if you can’t pay for it.  I just can’t seem to wrap my head around how something like this could have happened. Especially in this, no red ink, no dodge-ball, get rid of A, B, C, D, F for S, N, and U, everyone passes, everyone is a winner and everyone gets a trophy, world the public schools have created. These kids were forced to learn a life lesson too early.  Middle school aged kids should not have to worry if they are going to be able to eat lunch or not.  That’s just a shame.

What’s even more unbelievable than the kids being sent away without anything to eat, is the fact that they were made to dump out the food they had in front of them. Not only did they have to dump out their food but they were required to sit there in the cafeteria, for the entire lunch period, with no food while others around them ate.  My heart breaks for the kids that had to endure this humiliation.

I haven’t seen where it was reported but, you can be assured these kids were made fun of by the other kids.  …kids are cruel like that and this was a perfect opportunity to make fun of someone.

Of course none of the geniuses at the school want to take blame for this inexcusable fiasco.

The principal blames the food vendor; the vendor blames the employees that made the decision.  Supposedly students that have a negative balance are to receive a cheese sandwich, a fruit and vegetable, and milk.  …That sounds pretty good.  But they didn’t even get that!  They left hungry.

There is plenty blame to be passed around to all involved as far as I’m concerned, but the real blame, the root of the problem is the kid’s parents.

I can’t think of an excuse good enough to justify your kid going without food.  How is it that the kid’s prepaid lunch cards are ever in the negative?  There should be nothing more important than making sure you have paid the bill for your kid’s lunch.

Is it possible that the parent’s finances are in such great disarray that they just couldn’t make the lunch card payment?  And if you know you can’t or haven’t made the lunch card payment, should you send a bagged lunch with your kid?  …I guess they were counting on the “cheese sandwich when your parents suck” meal to cover their lack of ability to ensure their kids don’t go hungry.

If you are unable to keep track and make the payments for your kid’s lunch card, I think it’s time for a budget.  …with the first item that gets paid, even before buying smokes, paying the cable or buying the booze, is your child’s prepaid lunch card.

If you find yourself in a situation where your debt is starting to get out of control and you can’t make the most important of all your payments, then I think it’s time to seek the advice of a professional before it gets too late and your kid is the one sitting in the cafeteria without anything to eat.

The professionals at DebtHelper.com can explain the benefits of a debt management program and provide you with a fresh start.

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