Recently we’ve been hearing many stories about students at public schools being denied their school lunches over unpaid balances, leaving the students hungry and humiliated. One mother in Michigan decided to take action after her son was denied for a balance of less than five dollars, and her response couldn’t have been better.
Dominic Gant, a junior at Dowagiac Union High School in Dowagiac, Michigan, had his lunch taken from him and thrown in the trash because of an unpaid balance. Upset at being embarrassed, Gant called his mother Amanda Keown to tell her what the school had done.
Keown was furious, and rightfully so, the school had told her that it didn’t matter how little the balance was, if they don’t pay then they don’t eat.
“I was appalled. He had his lunch taken out of his hands over five bucks,” Keown said.
However instead of taking her anger out on the idiot administrators who allowed it to happen she paid off her son’s balance plus the balances of 19 other students at the school who were subjected to the same inhumane treatment.
Once that was completed, the determined mother turned to social media to raise money so she could pay off the balance of the students in the surrounding schools.
“I realize I didn’t have to do that,” she said. “But I don’t want another kid going through what my son went through.”
Once confronted, the principal of the school Pieter Hoekstra, said that what happened to Gant was a mistake and that students should be able to get permission from one of the adults in the lunchroom to eat even if they have an outstanding balance.
However he did say that ultimately it’s up to the parents to ensure their children’s accounts are kept current.
“It’s the parent’s responsibility to make sure there’s funds in the account if they’re not on free/reduced lunch,” he said.
Would you have done what Keown did for the students at your children’s school? Let us know with a comment!