School 'Lunch Shaming' Is Outlawed by CA Law
Calif. Law Guarantees All Students Will Get a Meal
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation on Saturday to ban the practice of singling out students unable to pay for their lunch, and cited the efforts of elementary schooler Ryan Kyote in helping bring the issue to greater attention. Kirkpatrick told PEOPLE in June that her son’s activism first took off after he heard about a 5-year-old in Indiana who was denied lunch because they were unable to pay for the meal. The average lunch debt incurred by U.S. students was $2,500, School Nutrition Association spokesperson Diane Pratt-Heavner told the New York Times.
In September, a 9-year-old Ohio boy had his lunch taken away from him on his birthday because of a $9 unpaid debt on his account, and was given cheese and bread instead. The Green Local School district later amended its policy so that all students would be able to receive their standard lunch regardless of account balance. Three-quarters of the 5 billion lunches served in school cafeterias in 2018 were offered at a free or reduced price, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In May, Warwick Public Schools in Rhode Island responded to backlash by reversing a policy that would have limited students who held a lunch debt to eating a cold sun butter and jelly sandwich instead of a variety of hot lunch options.
The district said it implemented the policy because it had accumulated a $77,000 lunch debt. The School Nutrition Association previously reported that 75 percent of school districts reported having unpaid student meal debt at the end of the 2016-2017 school year.
No More Circus Animals? A Halt To Lunch-Shaming; Newsom Signs Flurry Of New Calif. Laws – CBS Los Angeles
Senate Bill 328: Perhaps the most controversial, SB 328 pushes school start times for middle and high school students back. High schools can’t start class until 8:30 a.m., while middle schools can’t start until after 8 a.m. It will take effect by 2022. SB-24: California will be the first state in the country to require abortion medication on college campuses. The law takes effect in 2023 and only applies to the 34 campuses in the University of California and California State University systems.
The law will only be implemented if a state commission can raise more than $10 million in private donations to pay for it. SB 8: This bans smoking and vaping on state parks and beaches beginning in 2020. AB 313: This bans the use of most animals in the circus, including elephants, bear and other wild animals. California is now the third state to enact such a ban, joining New Jersey and Hawaii. AB 44: California is now the first state in the nation to ban the sale of new fur products.
AB 342: This blocks any state lands from being used for oil extraction by President Donald Trump’s administration. It bars any California leasing authority from allowing pipelines or other oil and gas infrastructure to be built on state property. Beginning no later than 2022, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife must develop a program through which people can obtain a wildlife salvage permit that would allow them to take home and eat a deer, elk, antelope or wild pig which has been struck and killed by a vehicle.
School lunch shaming: California bans “lunch shaming” for students who owe money
Millions of schoolkids across California will be less likely to find themselves humiliated in front of classmates for owing money for school lunches. California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Saturday signed into law a measure that stipulates that all students get lunch, regardless of whether their families are behind in paying meal fees. Still, the issue is also one drawing attention outside of California. After threatening foster care for children in arrears and initially refusing a businessman’s offer to cover lunch debt, a Pennsylvania school district in July did an about-face, saying it would accept donations to cover the meal tabs after all.
In May, after a Rhode Island school district reversed its decision to start serving cold sandwiches instead of hot lunches to students whose families owe lunch money, Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya offered to pay off their debts. A Trump administration proposal to cut so-called loopholes in the federal food-stamp program could mean that almost 265,000 children may no longer qualify for free lunch. Three-quarters of school districts had unpaid student meal debt at the end of the 2016-17 school year, a survey by the School Nutrition Association found. Of the districts with unpaid debt, 40% reported an increase in students without sufficient funds to pay for school meals.
Gavin Newsom Signs Legislation Banning School ‘Lunch Shaming’
Earlier this year, Napa County elementary school student Ryan Kyote called national attention to how kids at his school were shamed and singled out because of inadequate funds in their school lunch accounts. He showed how at many schools across the country, students whose parents are not able to pay for their lunch are given a cheaper, ‘alternative’ lunch that causes them to stick out from their peers. Reports said Kyote paid off his class’s lunch debt with the $74.80 he had saved in his allowance. Newsom met with the third grader earlier this year to discuss the problem. The new law prohibits California’s K-12 public schools from giving students a cheaper alternative meal if they cannot afford to buy lunch.
When parents can’t afford to buy their kids the typical school lunch, students are sometimes denied food or given a different, cheaper alternative. Lunch shaming is very real and has serious consequences for the well-being of our kids. In June of 2017, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill into law that sought to address the same issue. Reports said Senate Bill 1566 included an amendment that allowed students a grace period so they could continue to eat lunch at school, according to the Texas Tribune.