Utah school snatches students' lunches
Lunch shaming prevention bill heads to House Floor
Despite the fact lunch-shaming students for having lunch debt is illegal, advocates say it’s still happening. “New stories across the state show schools stigmatizing, demeaning and shaming students for outstanding lunch debt,” Michelle Koffa, a policy manager with EdAllies told the House Education Policy Committee Friday. To address this, Rep. Tony Jurgens sponsors HF55 that would require schools that participate in the national school lunch program to adopt, post and adhere to a policy prohibiting lunch shaming and provide meals in a respectful manner. The proposal would reinforce existing law that prohibits schools from using demeaning practices to collect lunch debt. Require participants of the national school lunch program to adopt, post and implement a respectful lunch policy;. Prohibit withdrawing food from a student if it’s determined they have lunch debt;. Prohibit participants from imposing restrictions on students in an effort to collect unpaid balances;. Prohibit participants from denying school lunch to students who qualify for free or reduced lunch, despite outstanding balances; and. Require the Department of Education to hold noncompliant schools accountable. Koffa said these changes will go a long way in maintaining students’ dignity as they seek the basic human need of food and ensure that communication of student lunch debt remains between adults. “Many of us can remember school lunch as being a time to build community with peers. Practices that shame students do the opposite of this,” she said. “As adults we must protect students from shameful practices, like keeping them out of the communication about outstanding lunch balances.”
Hunger Free Colorado BlogHunger Free Colorado Blog
Lunch shaming is a longstanding problem for kids and schools across the country, and it’s high time we stamped it out. Several schools have gained national media attention when they refused to serve students with depleted lunch account funds – a practice widely known as lunch shaming. While there have been several attempts to ban lunch shaming in Colorado, it remains a complicated issue as student lunch debt rises. Access to a nutritious lunch is a fundamental need for children. Students who fail to pay their lunch debt reportedly receive separate meals which include sandwiches or jelly, as opposed to those who have lunch balances and received a hot meal. In an interview with The Penny Hoarder, Florida child psychologist James Pratt explains that lunch shaming can have long-term consequences and affect the future behavior of a child. In their media release for the key legislation that banned lunch shaming in their districts, California Governor Gavin Newsom notes that children who experience lunch shaming have a higher chance of getting bullied by their peers. These practices result in actions beyond a nudge for parents to pay their lunch balance. Several national politicians and local institutions have moved to completely stamp out lunch shaming, including Rep. Omar Ilhan and Sen. Bernie Sanders. Private efforts like fundraising and debt canceling donations are also popping up to wipe out school lunch debts. Chalkbeat Colorado reports that after banning the lunch shaming practices, lunch debt in Denver public schools soared from $13,000 in 2017 to $356,000. Time to Eat intends to address the issue of children not getting adequate time to eat at lunch.
What is ALS?
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more commonly known as ALS, is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease. ALS is also called Lou Gehrig’s disease, after the famous baseball player who retired in 1939 because of the condition. Unusually long life-span Hawking, diagnosed with the condition in 1963, lived with it for more than 50 years – a remarkably long time for an ALS sufferer. Ice bucket challenge The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 20,000 to 30,000 people have ALS in the United States, with about 5,000 new cases diagnosed every year. There are two types of ALS: sporadic, which is most common, and familial. The latter is inherited; the children of people who have it have a 50% chance of inheriting the condition, and people with familial ALS live an average of only one to two years after symptoms appear. It’s much more rare than sporadic ALS, which accounts for over 90% of cases. The condition gained widespread prominence in 2014 when Pete Frates, a former baseball player at Boston College who has been living with ALS since 2012, started the Ice Bucket Challenge. The viral sensation vastly improved awareness of the condition and caused a huge uptick in donations to the ALS Association. “We have never seen anything like this in the history of the disease,” said Barbara Newhouse, president and CEO of the ALS Association, in a news release at the time. Cause unknown For reasons not yet understood, military veterans are twice as likely to be diagnosed with ALS as the general public, according to the ALS Association. Up until last year, there was only one FDA-approved drug for ALS, extending survival by several months.
Pennsylvania takes step backward in protecting against lunch shaming [opinion]
THE ISSUE. A provision in Pennsylvania’s 2019-20 budget, which was passed and signed by Gov. Tom Wolf late last month, “Allows schools to serve students alternative meals if they have an unpaid balance of $50 or more,” LNP’s Alex Geli reported July 5. A June 27 article by Geli notes the ban on lunch shaming appears to be costing local school districts more money. “At the end of the 2018-19 school year, parents still owed Lancaster County districts $118,501 on their children’s cafeteria accounts,” Geli reported. Some background: In autumn 2016, there was national coverage of the lunch policy of Canon-McMillan School District in western Pennsylvania. It took a year – which is quick by Harrisburg’s standards – for the state to amend its school code to ban lunch shaming. The children from the poorest households likely qualify for free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch Program. If their parents haven’t enrolled them in that federal program, we hope school officials are asking why. Penn Manor High School seniors with excess funds donated more than $1,900 toward the district’s cafeteria debt. What we don’t find heartening is the philosophy behind the revision of the state school code in Harrisburg’s newest budget. Allowing schools to serve alternative meals to students with an unpaid balance of $50 or more goes against the spirit of the 2017 ban. Just because it’s an option doesn’t mean school districts here are obligated to go that route. If finances are tight, there are certainly many other areas in any school budget that can be scrutinized before making decisions that undermine the dignity of students.