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Dickensian Rightists at it again

Posted by on Dec. 19, 2013 at 9:29 AM
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1 mom liked this


Georgia Congressman Proposes That Poor Kids Sweep Schools For Their Lunch

By Josh Israel on December 19, 2013 at 8:58 am

"Georgia Congressman Proposes That Poor Kids Sweep Schools For Their Lunch"

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Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) at a recent fundraiser lunch

Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) at a recent fundraiser lunch for a local Chamber of Commerce

Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), who from 2011 to 2012 chaired the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees funding for school nutrition programs, told party activists that kids receiving free breakfast and lunch should either be asked to pay for part of their meals or earn them by sweeping the floor. The 11-term Congressman, who is seeking his party’s nomination for an open U.S. Senate seat next year, said Saturday that he had suggested the idea to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

According to the Huffington Post, Kingston told the Jackson County Republican Party that the program that provides children from struggling families with free lunch and breakfast is error-riddled. He then opined that schools should not teach any of the kids, eligible or not, that there is such thing as a “free lunch” in America:

KINGSTON: On the Agriculture Committee, we have jurisdiction over the school lunch. [The] school lunch program has a 16 percent error rate. [The] school lunch program is very expensive. Of course, it looks good compared to the school breakfast program that has a 25 percent error rate. But one of the things I’m talking to the Secretary of Agriculture about: why don’t you have the kids pay a dime, pay a nickle, to instill in them that there is, in fact, no such thing as a free lunch. Or maybe sweep the floor in the cafeteria. And yes, I understand that that would be an administrative problem and I understand that it would probably lose you money — but think what we’d gain as a society in getting the myth out of their head that there is such thing as a free lunch.

Watch the video.

Kingston is not currently on the Agriculture Committee nor the Appropriations Agriculture subcommittee — a Kingston spokeswoman did not respond to a ThinkProgress request for clarification of the comment.

Hunger among American children remains a huge problem: three-quarters of U.S. teachers say they have students who routinely show up to school hungry. Studies have shown that providing breakfast in schools improved student attentiveness, attendance, and test scores — though only half of the students eligible for free breakfast are receiving them. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the error rates include both over-payments and under-payments by the government for the program.

Since paperwork is often an obstacle to access, communities like Boston and Dallas have opted to simply provide free meals to all students, regardless of economic need. But other schools have gone in the opposite direction, including a Dickerson, Texas, middle school that threw away the lunch of a student whose account was 30 cents short.

Kingston’s plan would potentially discourage participation in the program — some kids do not have the five to ten cents for their meals and singling them out as janitors would broadcast to other students which families are the poorest. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 18.9 million students receive free lunches and another 2.6 million receive reduced fee lunches. Last year, Kingston voted for a bill that would have kicked 280,000 low-income out of the program.

Kingston follows in the footsteps of his former colleague, then-Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), who argued in his own unsuccessful 2012 Senate campaign that the federal government should “end its support for school lunch programs,” because they he believes the program unconstitutional. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) also argued that it is unconstitutional for the federal government to feed poor students. Another former colleague from Georgia, ex-Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R), suggested in his unsuccessful 2012 presidential campaign that kids should become assistant janitors.

Chris Crawford, Kingston’s communication’s director, told the Huffington Post “It is sad that trying to have a productive conversation about instilling a strong work ethic in the next generation of Americans so quickly devolves into the usual name-calling partisan hysteria. Having worked from a young age himself, Congressman Kingston understands the value of hard work and the important role it plays in shaping young people.”

Kingston has an estimated net worth of more than $2 million. According to the Sunlight Foundation, breakfast and lunch at his re-election fundraisers typically cost $500 a person.

by on Dec. 19, 2013 at 9:29 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Luvnlogic
by Silver Member on Dec. 19, 2013 at 9:33 AM
3 moms liked this
Yay for child labor! smh

How about a requirement that the parents volunteer at the school? That would make more sense to me.
yourspecialkid
by Platinum Member on Dec. 19, 2013 at 9:37 AM
2 moms liked this

 Oh the horror of actually working for one's keep! 

I don't think his method is all that great, but people must start learning personal responsiblity somewhere.  If the parents aren't teaching it then I guess that like so many other things it must be up the schools.

Almost half our our population is on assistance.  That is not sustainable.  If we don't find a way to manage it then it will collapse and then no one will have the help they need.

 

EDIT....I MADE THE FONT LARGER AND CHANGED THE COLOR SINCE SO MANY OF YOU SEEM TO BE MISSING WHAT I SAID.

 

 

snookyfritz
by Platinum Member on Dec. 19, 2013 at 9:41 AM
9 moms liked this

I am sorry but watching a kindergartner have to sweep the cafeteria floor, in front of his peers is disgusting. 

Quoting yourspecialkid:

 Oh the horror of actually working for one's keep! 

I don't think his method is all that great, but people must start learning personal responsiblity somewhere.  If the parents aren't teaching it then I guess that like so many other things it must be up the schools.

Almost half our our population is on assistance.  That is not sustainable.  If we don't find a way to manage it then it will collapse and then no one will have the help they need.

 


snookyfritz
by Platinum Member on Dec. 19, 2013 at 9:42 AM
2 moms liked this

I don't think that's a good idea either.  Picture the recently divorced mother, working full-time and taking care of 3 elementary age kids.  Homework, dinner, extra-curricular activities.  I don't think that's very supportive.

Quoting Luvnlogic: Yay for child labor! smh

How about a requirement that the parents volunteer at the school? That would make more sense to me.


snookyfritz
by Platinum Member on Dec. 19, 2013 at 9:42 AM

BUMP!

Luvnlogic
by Silver Member on Dec. 19, 2013 at 9:44 AM
1 mom liked this
True...there isn't always enough time in a day.

Quoting snookyfritz:

I don't think that's a good idea either.  Picture the recently divorced mother, working full-time and taking care of 3 elementary age kids.  Homework, dinner, extra-curricular activities.  I don't think that's very supportive.

Quoting Luvnlogic: Yay for child labor! smh



How about a requirement that the parents volunteer at the school? That would make more sense to me.


lizmarie1975
by Gold Member on Dec. 19, 2013 at 9:45 AM
6 moms liked this

Wouldn't forcing a poor child to work for his lunch while his peers looked on make him or her a prime target for bullying?

romalove
by Roma on Dec. 19, 2013 at 9:45 AM
5 moms liked this


Quoting yourspecialkid:

 Oh the horror of actually working for one's keep! 

I don't think his method is all that great, but people must start learning personal responsiblity somewhere.  If the parents aren't teaching it then I guess that like so many other things it must be up the schools.

Almost half our our population is on assistance.  That is not sustainable.  If we don't find a way to manage it then it will collapse and then no one will have the help they need.

 

Do any children earn their lunch?

Or are their parents providing it?

If the parents are providing it, does it make sense that you have to "teach" a child who has parents incapable of providing it that there is no free lunch, when the kids who have parents providing are also receiving a free lunch (free to the child)?

SMH over such logic.

jaxTheMomm
by Platinum Member on Dec. 19, 2013 at 9:46 AM
3 moms liked this

Incredibly short sighted and ignorant.

lizmarie1975
by Gold Member on Dec. 19, 2013 at 9:46 AM
3 moms liked this

How do you know that the parents aren't teaching it? Both parents could be working and still barely making enough money to cover rent/mortgage, bills, food for the home...

Quoting yourspecialkid:

 Oh the horror of actually working for one's keep! 

I don't think his method is all that great, but people must start learning personal responsiblity somewhere.  If the parents aren't teaching it then I guess that like so many other things it must be up the schools.

Almost half our our population is on assistance.  That is not sustainable.  If we don't find a way to manage it then it will collapse and then no one will have the help they need.

 


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