Little Six Year-Old Girl “Lunch Shamed” By Cafeteria, Loses Her Tray Of Hot Food

6-year-old Anya Howard was “lunch shamed” and had to return her food at her school cafeteria after she didn’t have enough in her school lunch account to pay for it.

Dwight Howard is Anya’s grandfather, and he has urged district administrators that they should review their policies regarding cafeteria issues.

Anya is a student at Southwest Elementary, and she had to trudge to the back of the lunch line to get a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. She said that several of her classmates laughed at her and it made her feel “sad.”

According to News 8, Anya not only had to make the “walk of shame”, but she had to do it past 20 students, with many snickering and outright laughing at her because of her inability to pay. Anya’s grandfather said this was “humiliating and unnecessary.”

“When she was talking to me about it, she wasn’t just sad, she was embarrassed, too,” Dwight Howard said.

“The school waited until there was a dime left, then they denied her the lunch that she would have been served and that she tried to pay for, and then they made her go back to the line to get a PB&J sandwich,” the perturbed grandfather said.

Of course, Greenwood Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Kent DeKoninck did his best to do damage control on their end. First of all, he stated that parents and guardians are given reminders when the lunch accounts only have $5.00 remaining in the balance.

Second, he sent a statement to News 8: “It isn’t an uncommon occurrence for more than one student to be served the alternate lunch during any given day. Whenever this occurs, our staff tries to handle it as discreetly as we possibly can. Of course, we do allow our students to charge up to two hot meals before they have to go with the alternate meal.”

That might seem all well and good, but Anya also brought home a note around that same time that said that the school district was soon going to do away with giving students the ability to charge their hot meals.

Although Dr. DeKoninck was adamant that Anya’s family had never contacted him regarding the note she sent home, it seems that someone dropped the ball here. It’s all well and good if the man has a doctorate, but how about some good old fashioned common sense? It’s time to work on changing your policies so another student isn’t embarrassed the way that Anya was.

What do you think about this embarrassing first-grade lunchroom story?

42 thoughts on “Little Six Year-Old Girl “Lunch Shamed” By Cafeteria, Loses Her Tray Of Hot Food

  1. Well one of the workers should have paid for the girls food,if I was working a cafeteria job and that happened I would pay out of pocket period it is the right thing to do!

  2. Very poor school policy! These issues should never be addressed to a child!! Never! Allow the child a meal and speak with the parent! Very bad judgement on the part of the adults(?) governing the lunchroom! No child should be subjected to such embarrassments!

  3. In many cases having a so-called Phd stands for “petty habitual dumbness.” Semper Fi!

  4. What is sad, is the attitude of her “classmates”! Kids can be cruel and these little twits lived up to that ugly billing.

  5. The school should be contacting the parents, grandparents, or guardians, directly. A six year old child is a child not an adult and they do not have the level of responsibility of teenagers or adults. This is the result of destruction of the family and the promotion of the State being supreme.

  6. With all their fancy titles and policies…this shows once again that these Democrats are still idiots..if there is an issue with lunch money you don’t take it out on the child…call the parents or send the bill in the mail…meanwhile those children of illegals are getting free breakfast and lunch.

  7. I’m not quite sure if this comment line is to be about the little 6 yr. old girl being embarrassed or about the 65 yr. old man with a l2 year old bride.

    So….here is my take on both!!!! Thoughtless, stupid, 2 yr. old action of a person pretending to be an adult. Everyone including the other children know that even a lst grader has feelings and under no circumstance should an adult put a little child through that. Bad planning by grownups. !!!!!!! I’m ashamed of you !!!! as is God !!!!

    On to the next stupid take on a grandfather thinking he should also embarrass & take advantage of a little girl by marrying her. What country are they from that would let that happen. Glad my children, grandkids, or great grandkids aren’t in that country !!!!

  8. Soon the schools will be as inefficient and intolerant as the government. Give the kid a lunch and deal with it with the parents afterward. Policies are inacted to circumvent common sense. Refering to a policy is a way to avoid really dealing with the individual problem which can’t be solved otherwise.

  9. If the adults that are supposed to educate our children cannot have any empathy for those children when they are placed in untenable situations due to actions or inactions of adults over which the children have no control, they have no business whatsoever being involved in education.

  10. Its the parents fault or grandparents.. They should be aware how much money in the account. Dont blame the school or kids for your mistakes. Too many parents neglect their children and blame the school.

  11. This is outrageous. In this day of communications, how were the parents not notified properly that their child had only a dime left in her lunch account? Was the child going to quit school at age six, or was it not possibly for these inept school administrators to allow her parents to charge one lunch? Whoever dropped the ball here and shamed this child needs to be reprimanded strongly at the very, very least. She will remember this embarrassment for the rest of her life. It hurts when classmates mock you, for anything. I know this, because similar things happened to me. THINK, for Pete’s sake, you school administrators and cafeteria staff, or quit the job and let it be opened up to people with wisdom.

  12. By all means, charge the child’s guardians, or parents for the lack of funding, BUT let the child have their lunch. For all of the NOISE about how to treat children the right way, then force a child to endure such as this, it is truly reprehensible. The Dr. whatever he is a “doctor ” of should be ashamed of himself and of the school for such heinous activity against a child. Having an emergency back up fund for such as this should be considered a MUST for any school. The children NEED those meals to be able to have the energy to learn their lessons in school. Schools, you ask parents for money for school supplies, why not a slush fund for lunches as well.

  13. I do not begrudge free lunches for any children at any school. But when she was only a dime short of paying for her lunch some adult in charge made a huge mistake. Send her to the back of the line and see how the adult likes it. jwstx

  14. She is a CHILD, this is disgraceful… What a bunch of adult bullies,, I’ve read stories where Cafeteria workers that has paid for a child lunch when there was no money in their account, WERE FIRED. This should be plastered all over the school boards website.

  15. When I was in school, we had to bring our money, we as kids still learning basic math didn’t have to count on the school system to have an account in our names but we don’t see. Only adults both home and in school see the account and know the math involving cost of lunches not the kids. What the heck is an alternate lunch. You had one choice of a plate which was filled by school people and given to the kid at the paying point. In the high school, two choices again filled by school people and given to the kid at the paying point. We kids learned fast to hang onto our money and if something happened like your purse falling out of your school bag, you were given your lunch and you had to bring in the money the next day. You had three times to goof up your money for lunch, and, we never had one kid lose their money because some bully took it from you. I have only seen that in movies, of course, that is different today. And one complaint, in our school system in our near by city, kids who get free breakfast hold back the class because there is no instruction going on while they sit in class eating their breakfast, some deliberately taking their time because they don’t want to be in school. This is done because the school staff in the cafeteria don’t want to serve breakfast in the cafeteria, so the kids are fed in their classrooms. Sometimes on some days because of so many kids the first class period is use for these kids to eat and clean up their desks. I don’t know why the school system doesn’t say to the cafeteria staff if you don’t want to feed the kids in the cafeteria where it is actually more easier and faster instead of going from room to room, than show the cafeteria staff the door. Stand up to the unions who are not in the kids favor, they seem to like wasting first class with no teaching going on in first class just some kids eating and playing around while those kids whose parents feed them breakfast at home and want to get an education to get a job after graduation or go to college are not even taken into consideration. School is for an education for the kids whose parents are paying for the kids education not for the school cafeteria staff to rule the roast. The kids getting breakfast can get to school a little earlier to eat breakfast. Few kids use buses to get to their city schools, most walk or parents drive them.

  16. If that was my child I would make work to defeat every school levy that came up until the person in charge of that policy was terminated. I know if I was working in that school I would have paid for that girls lunch. How can the person who was serving the food live with them self.

  17. Sorry for the misplaced word (make) as I was so upset I didn’t realize I put it there.

  18. Would it not have been better to let the girl have the meal and send a note home with her saying there was a negative balance?

  19. Most schools require students to have a school picture ID. I would think that that ID could be linked to a bank account. The parents would be responsible to maintain funds in that account to allow the school ID to be used as a “debit card” for school lunches. The bank would inform the parents if funds in that account dropped below $25.

  20. Should we find that there were Non-citizen student’s receiving free lunches, the staff involved must be fired. Providing anything “free” to an illegal immigrants child, is also Un-Constitutional and a criminal act that must be punished. This is especially necessary when an illegal is being provided financial assistance yet an American citizen is NOT.

  21. THIS IS A TRAVESTY to embaress this 6 year old child! These CAFETERIA IDIOTS should have fed her and send home a notte of the lack of funds for her lunches. TO WAIT TILL $.10 CENTS WERE LEFT IN HER ACCOUNT WAS THE FAULT OF THIS MANAGER OF THIS CAFETERIA! SHE NEEDS REPLACING FOR DERILATION OF HER DUTIES!

  22. Some one should get a month off without pay for this. $5 is not big money and let the family know so they could pay for it and let her eat and no one should even know about it.


  24. As a school administrator, now retired, I fully believe that superintendent is LYING. I’ve seen it a lot of times.

  25. In the past when I went to school. The teacher’s and staff worked together, so no child went hungry. Today, it seems they are more worried about indoctrinating the children and the all might dollars. Children should never have to be shamed or go hungry.

  26. I think it’s a disgrace and there should be a program where all children eat free. Some schools do this.

  27. I am sure the school lunch room would have gone “Belly Up” if this child had had her lunch.Bet they throw away many uneaten lunches every day! Plus children today have NO manners.Laughing is rude and shows these kids have no direction at home.IMHO

  28. Totally UNACCEPTABLE behavior from the school! Instead of sending a note home with a 6 yr. old, never knowing if it will ever be seen by the parents/guardian, how about contacting the responsible parties by phone? Taking food away from a child is disgraceful!

  29. The higher the level of ‘education’ they have the lower the level of tolerance they should get for being part of the problem rather than being part of the solution, when they are ever on notice they can and will lose a job, things like this will become a non starter.

  30. I think this is disgraceful! Would the school district go broke if a couple of kids ate for free? Maybe the parents just don’t have the money. Maybe this family is just dirt poor. What if this is the only decent meal she gets all day? She’s a little girl and the school has a policy that embarrasses her in front of her classmates because she doesn’t have enuf money to pay for the lunch. I feel so bad for her. I wish I could buy her lunch.

  31. These tyrants and they are forger who they work for. Education means nothing and they prove it over and over. If they did that to my grandkids ir children I’d have a new nickname. Pops it grandpa in jail. I’d take care of it so no other kid ever had to go through this.

  32. Absolutely disgusting & humiliating what they did to that child. When the school sends out a notice they need the parent respond back to make sure they are all aware of this shortage. Shame on the school’s cafeteria.

  33. What the f::k is wrong with the assholes that are giving out the food? You mean you can’t give out the food and collect later or send a note home or call? These people at giving out lunch sound like f::ken zombies! What ! Can’t think of what to do?! Tough decision! F::ken idiots! They should stand in the cafeteria with a sign on their chests for a day that says …”hi I’m an idiot.” Let them see how it feels! Nuff said!

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  35. When I went to school you had to pay for lunch ahead of time, on a weekly basis. You didn’t pay daily after you went through the line. I don’t think there was any “free” lunch and the school didn’t feed breakfast to children. I never think a child should be ridiculed for lack of money. Where is the personal responsibility of the parents, the grandparent? Don’t they have enough sense to know they have not paid for the lunch? they can pay monthly or for the entire year, I am sure. This was a mistake made by the parents and grandparents, not the school. I don’t think it is positive for children to think everything is free, because it is not.
    There is no “free lunch”. Taxpayers are paying for the lunch when the parents should be.

  36. Another argument for why school lunches should ALWAYS be free. As much as we pay in taxes that goes to the schools, there is no excuse for this.

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