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.


Looking Back From Experience

We are so far from done. Five men buried. Four widows, and a fiance, left in a seemingly hopeless, vulnerable limbo, all suffering beyond words. All five, plus these men's children, mothers and fathers and extended family, fearing the silence. Alone.  Where the homes were broken, suddenly those broken marriages are painful again, each divorced parent, dying inside again. ... (click for more)

Democrats Should Change Name Of Fundraising Event To Ray Blanton Dinner

Once again our state Democrats display the abject hypocrisy for which they are famous. Only a few days after Rep. Jim Cooper called for the removal of the Nathan Bedford Forrest bust in the state Capitol he was the featured speaker at the state Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner which one Democrat described as a "vital" fundraising event" for the party. Since both Thomas Jefferson ... (click for more)

County Taking First Step Toward Replacing County Jail Downtown With Workhouse Addition At Silverdale

County officials are taking the first step toward replacing the long-criticized county jail downtown with an addition at the workhouse at Silverdale. The County Commission is set to approve next Wednesday a $150,000 contract for the PFM government financial consulting firm to begin working out the details. County Mayor Jim Coppinger said he believes the move will save the ... (click for more)

Birchwood Residents Organize To Try To Keep Old School

Birchwood residents have organized to try to keep the old Birchwood School that serves as a community center. Jason Wright, who said he is an alumnus of the school and recently moved his family back home, said the community is concerned over the possibility of the county tearing the school down. He said he was advised that the boiler in the old school has stopped working and ... (click for more)

Ooltewah, Rhea Co. Picked To Win Region 4-5A Football

The Ooltewah Owls and the Rhea County Golden Eagles both advanced to the Class 5-A football playoffs last fall with Ooltewah getting eliminated by the Golden Eagles in the second round. Both teams entered that contest unbeaten, but Rhea County routed the Owls by a 47-14 final to advance. Rhea County went on to with 13 straight games before getting beat in the semis by ... (click for more)

Owls, Eagles Look Back Differently At 2014 Showdown

For the first time since they played in the second round of the 2014 Class AAA state football playoffs, a few Ooltewah and Rhea County players were together Wednesday at the Region 4-5A media day at The Bridge in Ooltewah. The Owls and Eagles, obviously, have polar-opposite thoughts on last year’s second round game in Evensville on a brutally cold Friday night. That’s because ... (click for more)