KENT, Wash. — With only 14 cents on his school lunch account, one middle school student was humiliated after a cafeteria cashier dumped his lunch tray in the trash.
School lunches cost 40 cents. The boy was 26 cents short when he watched his food get thrown in the garbage.
School district spokesperson Chris Loftis said the incident was a terrible mistake.
“I just have to say sorry to this student, sorry to the parents,” he said in an interview with KOMO. “We made a mistake, we need to fix it, we’re sorry.”
Loftis said the cafeteria cashier made more than one mistake. The student should have been given a free substitute like yogurt or cereal, but wasn’t.
According to KOMO, the cafeteria worker did not intend to be mean. He or she simply took the district’s end-of-year-policy to get parents to pay outstanding meal account debts too far.
“We forgot the humanity of it,” Loftis explained. “We’ve learned from this.”
The district is expected to change its policies, informing parents when meal accounts are down to $1 so more money can be added to avoid situations like this in the future.