FIFTH and final update at bottom! UPDATE I'm so upset. (Turning kids away at lunch)
Fourth Update: Everyone keeps saying that the fee is only $30 a year. So I just went to the website and figured out that it's $1.95 per school, per transaction. So, that's 3 schools at $1.95 for a total of $58.50 if I pay once a month, but could be up to $234 if I pay weekly. Soooo, not gonna happen.
Second update: Thanks for all the replies! I will definitely update when I speak to the principal or the superintendent. I have court this morning/afternoon and then a couple of meetings later on so I may not be here to reply to everyone. I'm not abandoning the post though!! I just have to work. :-) My judge is calling and court doesn't wait for Cafemom! Hahaha.
Our county just changed its policy and high school and middle school students are no longer allowed to charge lunches. Yesterday was our first day back after a week of no school due to the ice storm. I sent a check with my daughter for lunch money that covered two weeks of lunches for both of my 9th grade daughters. DD left the check in the classroom and was told at lunch, after waiting in line, to go and get it before she could eat. So she went down to the classroom, but it was locked. She saw her teacher, who then told her that she wasn't allowed to unlock the door until the bell rang. Wth? She was told that an administrator could open it. So she went to get an administrator who then told her that by the time she opened it, lunch would be over, so she refused.
Because of that, neither of my DDs ate lunch. They are both on the winter guard team and had practice until 7:15. One had a piece of toast before leaving for school, the other had nothing. So they both went hungry all day. I'm furious.
Why are schools doing this?? This is supposed to be one of the best school districts in our state. We live in a mid- to high-income area, but they can't afford to let a kid charge $2.45? Or hell, even $10 for that matter? The low-income county next to us provides every student with free lunch AND breakfast everyday. I just don't get it.
I'm going to the principal and the superintendent
UPDATE: Yes, they are in high school. But they're only in 9th grade and they are young for their age. We're not talking about driving teenagers here. And I do understand that this is a lesson in responsibility for them. However, I'm still pissed at the school because this doesn't have to happen. They are usually very responsible and it's just ridiculous that someone couldn't open a damn door.
Everyone keeps saying that they would have been turned away at the grocery store, but this isn't the grocery store. There is no adult or staff of people at a store who is supposed to be in charge of my kids. I can't walk into class and interrupt whenever I want because I've turned my kids over to a school that's supposed to take care of them. I have to jump through their hoops to even talk to my kid. That's not true of a grocery store or McDonald's. So yeah, I expect the school to do a little more.
UPDATE 3: I have a few minutes so I'm going to add a few more details. I haven't spoken with anyone yet, except for my daughters' father, because I've been dealing with other stuff this morning.
So, it seems like the majority of people place the blame for this situation on me and think it's fine that my kids went hungry. Agree to disagree at this point. I'll let you know who the higher-ups side with. But let me ask you how you feel about another situation. For the first month of school this year, DD (not the one who forgot the check, but her twin sister) didn't get to eat lunch at all, even after I paid for the lunch. I guess things are pretty hectic during the first few weeks of school, especially for the 9th graders who are still getting adjusted. DD has the latest lunch period (which starts at 1:15, which is rather late in my opinion anyway, but that's a different topic) and when she would get to the lunchroom, she would have to wait in line the entire lunch period just to get her lunch. Then, as soon as she'd get her lunch, she would sit down, take a bit or two, and then be made to throw the rest in the trash and head to class still hungry. Several times she even had to throw the entire thing away without a single bite.
She told me this on the first day of school and I was surprised. I told her to do what she could to try to get there earlier and hopefully, after a week or so, things would calm down and she wouldn't have this problem. After a month, it was still happening everyday. So, what would you have done in that situation?? She did alternate with taking her lunch some days and then trying the lunchline again others. But I don't feel that taking her lunch everyday is the solution to a problem that is obviously a school issue that needs to be addressed. Some kids can't take lunch everyday nor should they have to. The school is supposed to provide my child with a hot and nutritious meal choice and clearly, she wasn't being offered that.
FIFTH UPDATE: I spoke with the vice principal a few minutes ago. He was very nice. I explained what happened. He apologized. He explained the policies and said even though he doesn't agree with all of them, he knows they are in place for a reason and we have to follow them. (Duh). There was no new information on that front because I know the policies and know why they are in place, I just don't agree with them, which he understood. He believes that if DD would have explained the situation to the adminstrator at the time, letting him know that she and her sister would have to stay late that day and so on, then the administrator would have made arrangements for DD to get the check and finish her lunch. He assured me that the student's best interests are the interest of the school --- yeah, of course --- and that issues like these are often brought up with staff when appropriate. He will definitely speak with the administrator who handled this and get back with me if need be. He encouraged me to speak to or write to the superintendent about the policy change if I disagree with it and he also encouraged me to attend more PTO meetings when the budget is discussed so that my voice can be heard there as well.
I know most of his answers were basically just the politically correct BS crap they have to say, but I do think he took the matter seriously. He was very concerned about DDs not having eaten and then participating in sports activities because of the health risks associated with it. I think his concern was geniune.
This was a face to face conversation at the school, not a phone call. No one yelled, no one screamed. No one handed anyone their ass. Lol.
Obviously, this matter is done and over with. I know some think I was overreacting because I was venting my frustration here and put the entire amount of blame onto the school system. I have been called a helipcopter mom and my child/ren snowflake (which really makes me take those posters opinions seriously ((eyeroll))). I said from the beginning that my DD made a mistake by leaving the check in the room, but I guess that's just not good enough for some people. Maybe I should arrange for a public stoning to teach her a real lesson, eh? Either way, just because this one matter is resolved (meaning you can bet your ass she will have lunch money in her account from now on) doesn't mean there won't be future issues with a school system that I feel is in trouble. It's really sad, as several have said here, that our prisoners get a free meal, but our students suffer, and not just the ones who can't afford the meal.
Thank you to those who took me seriously and gave heartfelt advice. All the trolls can suck it.