automatic News for 04-08-2021

New Effort Aims To End 'Lunch Shaming' In New York State Schools

Children write NJ governor to end lunch shaming

FREEHOLD – More than 40 kids from over half a dozen school districts in New Jersey are banding together in an effort to end lunch shaming. Lunch shaming is when kids who can’t pay for school lunch get punished, called out or embarrassed because their parents can’t or don’t pay. In some cases, lunch shaming may include banning a child from extra curricular activities, like sports or prom. “It’s a very embarrassing experience. I witnessed it happen to a couple kids and they ran out of the lunch room and started crying,” said one teen. The children who wrote letters to Governor Phil Murphy all belong to Rays of Hope, a youth group out of Freehold. The children also examined the policies of 10 New Jersey school districts and found that serving an alternate lunch or reporting parents to the Department of Social Services were common practices. A cover letter to the Governor from Rays of Hope Director Lisa Richardson Hall stated: “Our school districts are basically criminalizing poverty and shaming poor families.” The kids sent these letters on October 14th and so far they have not heard back. One of them also called and requested a face-to-face meeting with the Governor to talk about lunch shaming. “We’re really hoping we do get a response because it’s a serious topic and a serious issue that a lot of children deal with,” said Sana Doctor-Bentley, 16. “Governor Murphy stands ready to work with the Legislature to protect students from needless shaming or punishment for school lunch debt,” a spokesperson said. “He encourages all districts to avoid policies that are contrary to the mission of providing safe and nurturing environments for children while in school.”

Keywords: [“lunch”,”school”,”shaming”]
Source: https://pix11.com/news/local-news/new-jersey/children-write-nj-governor-to-end-lunch-shaming/

State policies to address school lunch shaming

Unpaid school lunch debt is a challenge for school districts nationwide, and some districts have engaged in public shaming of students-such as publicly throwing out their food or blocking them from graduating-in an effort to recoup costs. State action on unpaid school lunch debt has proliferated since we wrote about school lunch shaming last June. California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Texas have enacted legislation to clarify procedures for situations in which students do not have sufficient funds for school meals. California and Oregon banned practices that publicly identify students with meal debt and treat them differently than they do other students. Hawaii and Texas established grace periods for students, allowing local authorities flexibility to determine how to proceed. At least nine other states are currently considering legislation: Arizona, Indiana, Maine, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Virginia, and Washington have proposed laws that would tackle shaming practices, and Colorado is considering legislation that would provide free meals for elementary and middle school students otherwise eligible for reduced-price meals. These initiatives are notable in that they address the intersection between student nutrition, emotional well-being and safety, and ability to learn. As other state and local authorities work to refine school meal policies, we’ll be watching to see whether and how these priorities will remain at the forefront.

Keywords: [“school”,”student”,”meal”]
Source: https://www.childtrends.org/blog/state-policies-address-school-lunch-shaming

TN lawmaker introduces ‘anti-lunch shaming’ bill aimed at helping students who cannot pay

The bill would ban schools from taking actions against Tennessee students who cannot pay for their lunch or those with outstanding lunch debt. A Nashville lawmaker has introduced a bill that says it would prevent schools from ‘lunch-shaming’ students unable to afford school meals. The bill, called the “Tennessee Anti-Lunch Shaming Act,” would prevent schools from taking actions against students who cannot pay for their lunch or pay off their lunch debt. Stipulations include schools being unable to make a student throw away any meal after it has been served because of their inability to pay. It also says schools cannot publicly identify or stigmatize students who cannot pay or those who have accumulated a meal debt – including offering alternative meals. Instead, the bill would require schools to assist parents and guardians with obtaining free or reduced meals for their children, and work to offer any other assistance available. Similar bills have been filed in previous legislative sessions, such as 2019’s “Tennessee Hunger-Free Students Act,” which failed in the House K-12 Subcommittee of Education.

Keywords: [“school”,”student”,”pay”]
Source: https://www.wbir.com/article/news/state/tn-lawmaker-introduces-anti-lunch-shaming-bill-aimed-at-helping-students-who-cannot-pay/51-8aad9344-c59e-4b06-84bc-5017f42d4f05

TN lawmaker introduces ‘anti-lunch shaming’ bill aimed at helping students who cannot pay

The bill would ban schools from taking actions against Tennessee students who cannot pay for their lunch or those with outstanding lunch debt. A Nashville lawmaker has introduced a bill that says it would prevent schools from ‘lunch-shaming’ students unable to afford school meals. The bill, called the “Tennessee Anti-Lunch Shaming Act,” would prevent schools from taking actions against students who cannot pay for their lunch or pay off their lunch debt. Stipulations include schools being unable to make a student throw away any meal after it has been served because of their inability to pay. It also says schools cannot publicly identify or stigmatize students who cannot pay or those who have accumulated a meal debt – including offering alternative meals. Instead, the bill would require schools to assist parents and guardians with obtaining free or reduced meals for their children, and work to offer any other assistance available. Similar bills have been filed in previous legislative sessions, such as 2019’s “Tennessee Hunger-Free Students Act,” which failed in the House K-12 Subcommittee of Education.

Keywords: [“school”,”student”,”pay”]
Source: https://www.wbir.com/article/news/state/tn-lawmaker-introduces-anti-lunch-shaming-bill-aimed-at-helping-students-who-cannot-pay/51-8aad9344-c59e-4b06-84bc-5017f42d4f05
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