By Richard Bammer
After a national chorus of outrage, American public schools are rethinking so-called “lunch shaming” policies that humiliate children with meal debts.
Since July, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has required school districts to adopt policies for taking care of delinquent student accounts for breakfast and lunch meals. While the agency, which funds the meal programs, is not specifically barring most of the embarrassing methods — such as serving cheap sandwiches instead of hot meals or sending children home with reminders, such as hand stamps — districts are being encouraged to inform parents at the start of the school year, so children don’t go hungry.
It is an issue that turned up last week on the Dixon Unified governing board agenda, as district leaders seeks solutions to the sizable number of unpaid lunch accounts.