A New Law Could Make Lunch Shaming Students Illegal Soon
A Bill brought to the US Congress banning schools across the country from being able to single out students who owe money for school lunches, or "lunch shaming", has passed a vote in the U.S. Congress and is now closer to becoming law, according to WZZM 13.
The Bill was brought to congress back in April by Senator Collins (R-ME) and Senator Tom Udall (D-NM). As Senator Collins' staff told WZZM 13, the bill would require schools to interact with the student's parents or guardians regarding low lunch account balances rather than telling the student and expecting them to relay the info.
Maine already enacted a similar law earlier this year statewide, and Denver, Colorado has passed legislation locally to stop "lunch shaming". Both situations are reporting that they will have budget shortfalls because of unpaid lunches. As the WZZM story says, in Denver, some parents just quit paying, because they knew their kids couldn't be punished.
The bill now goes to "conference to be reconciled", WZZM reports.
I struggle with this, because a lunch debt isn't the student's fault, so it sucks they get the punishment in front of peers. At the same time, just because your kid won't get punished, doesn't give you the entitlement to just not pay. I mean, your kid IS still eating, and actually no, it's not someone else's responsibility "because they're at school and not with me." They're at school because someone needs to teach them something, and if you're just not paying for their lunch, then you're probably not the best role model for teaching responsibility.
Still, as someone who was bullied for a few things I couldn't control, I'm glad that we're trying to stop lunch shaming.