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Child’s lunch thrown away in front of him for lack of 26 cents

A child's lunch was thrown away in front of him because he was 26 cents short
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Rules are made to be followed, but sometimes it goes too far. An example of this might be if a cafeteria employee were to throw a child’s lunch away right in front of him because he’s 26 cents short in paying for it. According to AOL Job News on June 11, that’s exactly what happened at a Washington state middle school.

According to the enraged father of the student, “"He gets up to the front and they say there's not enough in his account, so they take his food, and in front of him, throw it away," said Jimmie Keys, the boy's father.

And it wasn’t the first time. The boy told his dad that it happened twice that week. Lunches at the Mill Creek Middle School cost 40 cents. You pay for your meal with a meal account debit card. Parents are to be notified when the money on the card is low. Jimmie Keys said he was never notified. "My first instinct was to get a huge jar of pennies, and get it ready," Keys said. "I was going to take it down to the school and throw it on 'em."

As for the school district, spokesperson Chris Loftis described the incident as a “terrible mistake.” He stated that cafeteria workers are supposed to give students free yogurt or cereal if they can’t pay for their lunch. "I just have to say sorry to this student, sorry to the parents," he said. "We made a mistake, we need to fix it, we're sorry."

The regrettable incident apparently stemmed from a year-end effort to get parents to pay outstanding balances on their children’s meal cards. Loftis said that this particular cafeteria worker just took “the dictum too far.” A change will be made so that, in the future, parents will have more time to add funds.

"We forgot the humanity of it," Loftis said. "We've learned from this, and the kindness of all of our workers is not going to be overwhelmed by the policies and procedures that we're required to follow."

As to the “humanity of it,” what was to stop the cafeteria worker from pitching in 26 cents from his or her own pocket to help the child? Have we gotten that far away from common sense and civility that we throw good food away in front of a hungry child for 26 cents?

It should be added that AOL filed this story under “stupid employee stories.” Maybe it should more appropriately be filed under man’s inhumanity to man.


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