What is “lunch shaming?” It happens when a child can’t pay a school lunch bill.Every school administrator who did (or does) this should have been locked into a set of stocks and then pelted with rotten fruit from the school cafeteria. It's not the kids' fault that they are poor or that their parents are deadbeats. But they are the ones that the school administrators chose to bear the brunt of their parents' inability or unwillingness to pay for their lunches.
In Alabama, a child short on funds was stamped on the arm with “I Need Lunch Money.” In some schools, children are forced to clean cafeteria tables in front of their peers to pay the debt. Other schools require cafeteria workers to take a child’s hot food and throw it in the trash if he doesn’t have the money to pay for it.
In what its supporters say is the first such legislation in the country, New Mexico has outlawed shaming children whose parents are behind on school lunch payments.
On Thursday, Gov. Susana Martinez signed the Hunger-Free Students’ Bill of Rights, which directs schools to work with parents to pay their debts or sign up for federal meal assistance and puts an end to practices meant to embarrass children. It applies to public, private and religious schools that receive federal subsidies for students’ breakfasts and lunches.
Gov. Martinez, by the way, is a Republican. No doubt that she'll be drummed out of her party for an act of compassion.