Whitfield County Schools Are Shaming Kids With Food Program Policy - And Response (2)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I have a better idea for Whitfield County School system. Right now If a child is behind on paying for their lunch, they are denied a hot lunch. Instead they hand the child a cold cheese sandwich and a carton of milk.  

I doubt if that meets the FDA standards for school lunches, but even more important, it lets the whole school population know that that child is obviously inferior to the other children. Most people have no idea what that does to a child's self esteem.  

I can tell you first hand. Through no fault of my own, way back in the 60s, I was one of maybe eight or 10 kids at White Oak elementary school on the free lunch program. Every morning when the teacher called the role each child would take their quarter to the teachers desk for lunch. When she called my name I had to stand up and say "free lunch program."  Even better in the sixth grade, when lunch was over one other student and I had to sweep the cafeteria because we were on the free lunch program and should earn our lunch. They called us janitors.  

I'm 60 years old.  I haven't forgotten the shame I felt for being poor.  So, superintendent, the next time  you want to shame a child in your school system, call me. I'll pay for their lunch somehow.

Harry Presley
Chattanooga

* * *

If Mr. Presley is correct - denying a child a hot lunch punishes the wrong person.  Not to mention - it humiliates the child. Bullying is a major problem in schools everywhere.  Why give bullies a reason?  

Maybe they can require the parents to provide a service, after hours, to supplement the lunch program - help coach, help referee, help organize a school dance, help clean-up after a game or dance - any number of things rather force a CHILD to pay for the sins of someone else.  The world is tough enough as it is - no reason to destroy a kid's self esteem before he/she has a chance to build one.

George Parker

* * *

I agree with Mr. Presley and Mr. Parker, it is a tough situation for the children. This probably goes on all over the nation and is such a petty way to have to treat these children. What has caused us to not have plenty of money for such an important thing as a good meal for a child? Our politicians have and are wasting it and is a good reason to hold our elected officials accountable when they waste our families tax money. 

All of us can think of a zillion ways they waste money that could be used for truly useful and needed, not wanted, necessities, like a hot meal for children. Elections are coming up soon and in the future, also, look around, pay attention and if they are in the pockets of the well to do, well connected and filter our tax money to them, shame them, instead of the children, fire each and everyone that takes from our families. Thanks.

Joe Blevins
Guild, Tn.


Roy Exum: DeVos Changes Everything

I believe that from every point on my moral compass the state’s hijacking of five public schools in Hamilton County is wrong. I also believe I can argue with success from any direction on my compass against any of the proposals or terms that Commissioner Candice McQueen just threatened to impose on the county’s Department of Education. But today let’s go to ‘True North’ on my compass ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: 100 Graduation Truths

A tad over 25 years ago -- 1991 to be exact -- a brilliant Nashville advertising executive created a list of life’s truths to present his son on the eve of his high school graduation. From that, a glorious book entitled “Life’s Little Instruction Book” was born and H. Jackson Brown Jr. created a gold mine. I’m talking two years on the New York Times’ best-seller list. I am one of ... (click for more)

Erlanger Expects $5 Million Profit Despite "Very Challenging" Budget

Erlanger Health System officials said they expect a $5 million profit for the upcoming fiscal year despite a "very challenging" budget. Britt Tabor, chief financial officer, said there will be continued top line growth, which has brought a 51 percent rise in patient revenue over the past five years. "This is organic growth. It's not from mergers or acquisitions," Mr. Tabor ... (click for more)

Public Defender Says Another Entity Needs To Continue Funding For New Mental Health Court

Public Defender Steve Smith said another entity needs to take over funding the new Mental Health Court. He said Criminal Court Judge Don Poole has agreed to oversee the court and will make a budget presentation to the County Commission on May 31. Mr. Smith told members of the Pachyderm Club on Monday that he has been funding the program through the services of Anna Protano ... (click for more)

Lennex Walker Wins A-AA State Pentathlon

MURFREESBORO -- The final Spring Fling is off to a roaring start for CSAS senior Lennex Walker. The most decorated track and field athlete ever for the Lady Patriots, Walker got the ball rolling with a victory in the Class A-AA Pentahlon at the Dean Hayes Track and Soccer Stadium Monday afternoon by winning three of the five events and finishing first with 3,306 points. Unicoi ... (click for more)

Boyd-Buchanan Reaches Class A/AA State Soccer Tournament

The setting was nothing new for the seven seniors on the Boyd-Buchanan boys’ soccer team, but this time the Bucs got to celebrate a different outcome.   Playing in their fourth consecutive Class A/AA state sectional, the Bucs put three years of heartbreak behind them by earning a 1-0 victory over Merrol Hyde and a trip to this week’s state tournament in Murfreesboro. ... (click for more)