An Oklahoma mother says that her son should not have to go hungry just because he forgot his lunch money.
The mother, who chose to remain anonymous, told KRMG that her son, who attends one of Tulsa’s Public Schools, couldn’t eat lunch because he owed $3. The school reportedly took the boy’s tray and threw away his food. The mom said that the situation should have been handled differently.
“Let him know that he owes money, send a note home or something, but I don’t think a child should be told no, they can’t eat,” the mother told the news station. “I don’t think that if he forgets his money one day, it should just be ‘no, you can’t eat.’”
According to Chris Payne, a spokesperson for Tulsa Public Schools, the district policy is that high school students can’t charge for a meal. Payne told KRMG that in the real world, McDonald’s won’t serve you without money.
Although the district allows elementary and middle school students to charge for lunches, Payne argued that the high school rule on charging is strict. While some schools allow students to work in the cafeteria for their meals, Oklahoma’s strict food handling laws don’t allow that option.
“We really do want their emphasis to be on learning,” Payne added.