(KMSP) - Advocacy groups will be at the Minnesota State Capitol Tuesday to express their concerns over how some students without enough money to pay for lunch are being treated in school cafeteria.
When it comes to the school lunch counter, Minnesota actually passed a law several years ago to make sure reminders about lunch payments do not stigmatize or demean students. But, there are renewed concerns that some school districts are not getting the message.
There are reports of a school district near Rochester that has taken to publicly shaming students when their lunch balance hits zero. According to the Stewartville School Board policy, students with an insufficient balance will not be allowed to charge a meal and will instead be given a sandwich.
But according to a media report, students have witnessed cashiers dumping out the food in front of students before giving them the alternative meal as required by law.
As to the practice of embarrassing students, the Legal Services Advocacy Project says, “this is a financial transaction between a school district and a parent. Kids shouldn't be placed in the middle or ever fear being turned away from the lunch counter."
On Tuesday morning, several advocacy groups, including Hunger Solutions, will hold a news conference to address the allegations of lunch shaming and introduce proposals to end the practice.