Why This Little Boy Left His School Cafeteria in Tears

lunch money stamp on wrist

With the power of social media at all our fingertips, it seems that we devote quite a lot of time to making our lives — and even those of our little ones — public. And though many parents choose to use their devices as a way to showcase their child’s achievements, there are others who see it as a tool to speak out against tykes being treated unfairly.

Take this story, for instance: An unnamed Phoenix-area second grader recently came home with a quizzical stamp inked on the inside of his wrist that simply read, “LUNCH MONEY”. The boy was, according to his mother, “screaming and crying” over the incident.

As it turns out, the school employee that served him that day noticed that there was only 75 cents remaining in his account, not enough to cover the next school day’s lunch. So, instead of sending the boy along with a note or a phone call home, the worker simply grabbed his wrist and stamped a reminder onto it.

Tara Chavez, the mother of the boy, relayed the upsetting story to a close friend of hers who then tweeted about the incident, along with a picture of the stamp. Soon after, the original post had been retweeted thousands of times, with most agreeing that it seemed that the boy had essentially been bullied by the staff member.

As expected, the online community put pressure on the school to react and, in turn, The Huffington Post was able to snag a statement from the Paradise Valley Unified School District. Becky Kalbaugh, the communications specialist for the district, wrote:

It was never the intention of Desert Cove Elementary School administration and staff to embarrass any student by using the stamp. Students were given the choice between a letter or reminder stamp. Going forward, Desert Schools Elementary School [sic] will send a letter home notifying parents of low lunch balances… School administration has worked directly with the parent to address her concerns.

In her statement, she went on to explain that the mandatory stamps were made a thing of the past years ago, and that the cause of the whole uproar was just an honest mistake.

Despite the apology, Chavez told BuzzFeed that she is still confused as to why the event occurred in the first place; “My kid’s really weird about stuff like that, so I asked if he was given a choice by the lunch lady and he said, ‘No, she just grabbed my wrist and put the stamp on.’”

Wow! Someone certainty wasn’t thinking about this little guy’s feelings! Nonetheless, it does seem like the school district has come up with a pretty sturdy mea culpa. To get even more details on this divisive case, as well as some thoughts from other parents, be sure to click on The Huffington Post’s article here.

What are your feelings regarding this lunchtime blunder? Do you think that this incident has been overblown? How would you have handled this issue if it were your child? Tell us all about your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!