Father Angry At Son’s Arm Branded By School: I Need Lunch Money

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Child Branded I Need Lunch MoneyA young boy came home with a stamp on his arm alerting his parents that his ‘Lunch Money Account’ needed topping up.

Jon Biven’s said “I thought it was a good job stamp,” he said but on closer inspection it was clear that it was a reminder for him to top up the lunch money account which he claims still had some credit in it.

Biven’s said that his son mainly brings lunch from home but uses some of his lunch money to icecream or other treats at lunchtime and that forms of communication should be only by email or phone rather than ‘branding’ a child.

The Principle of the school said that her greatest desire as a principal is to communicate with the parents. Laura Ware said “we want to communicate in a way that our parents are happy with.”

According to the Superior Telegram, Food Services Director Jamie Wilson they “call 2,800 families a week with low balance notices” and there are debts of $50,000 linked to lunch money accounts that are built up in the district of Wisconsin by parents last year.

Comments flooded in from parents on AL.com who could see both sides of the argument;

gsm76 – This is embarrassing. This stamp has been used forever and a day and always as a last resort. Emails are sent out and notes are even sent home to notify parents about balances. Communication is there but it has to go both ways. To jump on them like this is wrong and to say your child was branded? Be a parent and keep up with your child’s accounts. Read emails and check folders for information sent home. It’s there but all too often overlooked by busy parents.
biascheck – Blaming the parents is beside the point. Branding a child like this can be very humiliating to a child. No school official who really cares about the children’s welfare would do such a thing.

alabama2louisiana
– Everyone, except for kids who got free lunch, got these stamps in school when I worked as a teacher in Alabama, no matter how much they paid for lunch, because the lunchroom workers could not call that many parents each day within the time frame they were given to prep, feed the kids, and clean up afterwards (less government, right?). More than anything, it kept parents in the know about how much their kids were spending on optional treats. Some parents sent money for a daily dessert, some said only on Fridays, etc.  It wasn’t some sort of insult or shaming, because everyone got them, except for the kids whose families were not required to pay for their lunch. It was just a simple way to notify parents that their kids’ lunch accounts were low in funds–an easy way to get a message to the parents that would not get lost before school got out, since they were carrying a tray already. Many parents used this notification instead of scheduling and budgeting to keep up with the lunch money, some just sent a hundred at a time, etc. It was flexible. Blame the system for this, not the cafeteria workers. Maybe you would rather the government provided free lunch to all schoolchildren? I would be down for that, but I bet most of you wouldn’t be. This thread is ridiculous, by the way. There are so many more important things to be outraged about on behalf of the kids, especially right now. They tried to contact this guy in other more private ways, he ignored the messages, and wasn’t keeping up with his kid’s lunch account. The kid probably didn’t think a thing about it until his parents freaked out about it. The dude needs to follow a schedule and send a check each week. Cafeteria workers are not paid to be collections agents.
LaneNBamaOk, to the multiple idiots posting below, read it again, the child still had money, it was the last week, the parents did not need to send more money, it is not ok to send messages stamped on a child, how about a stamp for, child needs to study more, child should dress better, child should behave better, whatever issues a school and parents need to deal with. If you condone this with your child then you are the Idiots to which I am referring. If this isn’t plain enough, let me know and I will come by and stamp it on your foreheads.
What are your thoughts? 
Photo credit: Jon Bivens/AL.com

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