School lunch, lunches, fancy food: a vent

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Backroads, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Enthusiast

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    Apr 21, 2017

    Today one of my students hands me a note from her mother. Mom apparently doesn't like the cafeteria food and doesn't want Daughter eating it. She also doesn't have enough time to prep lunches. So the note basically said Daughter will be eating at home after school, but would I mind perhaps keeping something healthy snacks and small lunch items in case Daughter get hungry?

    Yeah, I mind. I really am in the camp of not buying for students what their families should be buying for them.

    Sure, the possibility this might be a money issue they're trying to deflect did pop into my mind. This family isn't the poorest at our school by any lengths (and we got poverty, let me tell you) but people go through hard times and with a month left of school getting on free or reduced lunch might be too much of a hassle for them. However, I also had another mom in the class forbid her daughter from eating school lunch because the food. isn't organic.

    Either way, I'm a bit peeved this is aiming to become my problem. I either have to deal with a hungry kid in the afternoons or buy her lunch myself. Today one of the aids is finding her something to eat as I didn't even bring food for myself today.

    Am I being a jerk or a rotten teacher over this?
     
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  3. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Comrade

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    Apr 21, 2017

    You are definitely not in the wrong here. The parent is being unreasonable. We do not make enough money to regularly provide lunch for students. Does this student qualify for free lunch?

    I would kick this up to admin. I believe that all students are required to have a lunch so I would hope that you could say something like if you do not provide lunch, the cafeteria will provide something as all students need to have lunch at school & I will not be able to provide lunch for your daughter myself.

    Regardless of income level, I find it appalling that this parent expects you to provide lunch. She should take the time to look into the free and reduced lunch application. I would stay firm and not provide snacks for this student.
     
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  4. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Fanatic

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    Talk to your admin ASAP. This child needs to eat during the school day, so the parents need to make appropriate arrangements.
     
  5. Backroads

    Backroads Enthusiast

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    Not according to the records I am privy to, though of course financial situations can change.

    And another incident earlier in the year made me aware there is a totally free (whatever your scenario) option that is simpler than then menu but still school-provided food. If they're in financial issues, they might not be aware of it. If they just don't like school food, that won't help.
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    This parent's request is not appropriate. First of all, it's not your responsibility to provide snacks for students at the request of the parent. At all. If you choose to do so, great, but a parent doesn't get to decide that that's what you'll be doing. Second, students need to eat during the day. They at least need the opportunity to eat, with access to food. I think that the parent may be walking a short path to neglect by not providing her child with access to food at school.

    I would definitely contact admin. I may further contact CPS. Today.
     
  7. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Apr 21, 2017

    Every kid in my district gets free lunch regardless of their income since the vast majority qualify for Free/Reduced Lunch and this makes the lunch line move faster. Despite this, a lot of kids don't eat the school food, so they bring their own or wait until they get home to eat. We offer the lunch, but no one can make the kids take the tray and eat the food. My students are in HS, so they usually buy junk food at the local corner store or bring junk food from home.

    If I were you ... I would tell the parent that you are not able to provide snacks for students (you can make up a reason like allergy issues if you feel the need to). Then, if the student is in ELEM, I would tell the parent that if she wants you to provide snacks for her kid during the day; she must send you a week's worth of snacks on Monday and you will ration it every day. If the kid is older, tell the parent to have the kid make their own lunch.

    I'm sorry, but the parent's reasoning sounds very "flimsy" here and I am just not in the mood for any of it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
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  8. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I would tend to wonder if these parents can be charged with neglect.
     
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  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 21, 2017

    You are by no means a jerk.
    Forward that email to admin

    At most i'd offer to house nonperishable foods SENT FROM HOME that kiddo could choose for snack or lunch.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2017
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  10. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Phenom

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    I'd talk to my admin and then CPS.
     
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  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Kids without lunch in my school have previously been offered a school lunch and a 'bill' sent home to parents. The unpaid lunch debts became so large that my school now offers a bowl of cereal to those who forgot their lunch. I'm not sure if they charge for the cereal.
     
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  12. AmyMyNamey

    AmyMyNamey Comrade

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    This is insane. Last I checked, we weren't being paid enough to feed our own families, let alone our students, as well. Bad enough we have to buy supplies for our students out of our own pockets, because our states and administrators just won't, but this is beyond the pale.

    Send this straight to your admin and let them sort it out.
     
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  13. vickilyn

    vickilyn Maven

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    In this day and age of food allergies, there is no way that I would provide food for students. You wouldn't believe the hoops I have to jump through to make any kind of treat doable for my classes. I have no problem holding on to whatever the parents send in, but it has to be packaged as single servings, not big boxes of things, because right now the ants are invading and I won't have open food in my room. I have already had them in to spray for the critters.

    Admin should deal with this because other students are going to want the same privileges and snacks unless a plan is put into place where the student is not eating in front of the rest of the class. Beackroads, this is above your paygrade (and my own), and should not be coming out of your wallet. I would be venting too!
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2017
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  14. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    Apr 23, 2017

    Send this to administration. We have a rule that students must have a lunch in front of them. Yes, that meant that students were sent through the lunch line and the parents were charged for the lunch. What if we hadn't made them do that, and they'd gotten sick or even passed out, or they had some undiagnosed medical condition that made them ill? Bet your butt the parents would have put the blame on us.
     
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  15. a2z

    a2z Phenom

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    Don't lie about reasons. When you get caught, and you will, you and all teachers will lose credibility. Now if there is a written policy by all means use it but this is more an admin issue.

    Bump it to admin.
     
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  16. Backroads

    Backroads Enthusiast

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    Someone on another forum wondered if maybe I had misread the letter and they were asking to send food for me to keep for the student. So... when creating my response, I did so with that innocent assumption.

    Nope.

    Story gets even better: Mom apologized for the confusion and said she had read an article recently that said all teachers keep snacks in their classrooms for hungry students. This was an email, and it ended awkwardly with more apologies. I think it's beginning to dawn on Mom she may have crossed a school line.

    The matter has been sent to admin.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2017
  17. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    Apr 23, 2017

    Some do - for LEGITIMATELY suffering kids. Not those too high and mighty to eat school lunches or those whose parents are too "busy" to pack one.
     
  18. christie

    christie Rookie

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    Apr 23, 2017

    This.

    I share a room with another specialist and we have plenty of snacks in our closet for kids who are hungry - which is a lot of them. The kids we're feeding are having breakfast and lunch at school. For some of them - it really might be the only food they eat that day. So yes, we keep snacks on hand, but I would be super cranky if a parent expected me to provide that snack simply because she can't be bothered to pack a lunch.

    One of our usual kids will get a snack from us and only eat half so he can give the other half to his sister when he gets home from school.
     
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  19. Obadiah

    Obadiah Habitué

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    Apr 24, 2017

    I agree with the above, this was more of an administration issue. The phrase in the email, being too busy to pack a lunch, bothered me. Unless it was covering for impoverishment, I can't see how any parent could be too busy to feed their children; if nothing else, it only takes a couple of minutes to slap some lunchmeat between two slices of bread and stick it in a zip lock. Pre-made lunches are available in markets; so are fruit cups.
     
  20. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Aficionado

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    I would have responded that her issue with the school lunches has been noted and she's welcome to send in a healthy snack. The teacher isn't obligated to provide food. If she has additional problems with this she is welcome to call the principal or the head of food service. Maybe they can order special items for her daughter (yeah right!!!!!!).
     
  21. mcqxu

    mcqxu Comrade

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    If she has time to read these articles she probably has time to pack a lunch for her child.
     

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