After a boy forgot his lunch money, he pleaded with the cafeteria to let him eat something and he’d pay them back. However, what the school offered him instead sparked outrage all over social media.
Like most parents, Amy Whittaker Anders knows that children can be incredibly forgetful, especially when it comes to the basics. So, when her son Jake forgot to bring his lunch money to school with him, the worst she could expect would be a bill or possibly even a note lecturing her on her responsibility to send her child with enough money for each meal. Instead, she found out that school can be just as neglectful as her young son.
When it comes to the public school system, no child is supposed to go without food even if they have no money to pay for their lunch. Of course, while there is a strict requirement that each child should be given sustenance regardless of their ability to pay, there isn’t exactly a prerequisite specifying what constitutes an acceptable meal, as Anders and her child discovered.
After Jake returned home from his school in Avon, Indiana, Anders expected that he had eaten a school lunch for which she’d have to compensate the next day. Instead, she found that not only had her son been given a less-than-acceptable meal but also that he hadn’t even eaten it for a startling reason.
According to WISH-TV, Anders explained in a Facebook post that after her son told the school official that he’d forgotten his lunch money, they took his tray away from him and replaced it with a simple peanut butter sandwich to eat. Aside from the fact that two slices of bread with peanut butter isn’t exactly a hearty meal, Jake looked down at his substitute lunch to find that is was largely covered in dark green mold.
“Jake forgot his lunch money today. They took his lunch away and he was given this moldy peanut butter sandwich. I sure feel sorry for the kids without actual money who get this each day,” Amy Whittaker Anders wrote on Facebook.
The school took away her son’s lunch tray and replaced it with a simple peanut butter sandwich that was covered in mold. (Photo Credit: Facebook)
Although the presence of widespread mold is the major issue, Anders added that the cafeteria also wouldn’t allow him to have any milk. She dismissed the idea that this is an isolated incident, further explaining that the same thing happened to another child just weeks earlier.
“My question is, how could the cafeteria not see this mold. They also took his milk away. His friend also got one a couple of weeks ago week covered in mold,” Amy Whittaker Anders wrote.
Anders explained that Jake immediately showed the moldy sandwich to the cafeteria official, who expectedly discarded it. He was then given another sandwich, presumably from the same stash, but was too afraid of what it might contain to eat it.
“I got a message that he did not feel good and had forgot his lunch money and this was his lunch,” she replied. “He did take it back to get one without mold, but was afraid to eat it. He took a pic last week of his friend’s moldy sandwich when his lunch was taken away. Jake said he got to the register and they took his tray.”
Anders’ post immediately sparked an uproar on social media. Most individuals expressed outrage over the school’s handling of the issue while others were disgusted with the thought of a child being denied an acceptable meal in the first place.
“I was a lunch lady a few years ago in Plainfield, we almost ALWAYS had extra, that got thrown in the trash! Soooo UNACCEPTABLE! I would be going to the school to have a talk with the principal & call health department, filing a grievance or whatever,” one person wrote.
“That is stupid!! So than what did they do with the food on the tray, throw it away?!?” another wrote.
Unsurprisingly, Anders’ post quickly gained the attention of the media, which subsequently forced the school to take notice. Avon Community School Corporation quickly issued a statement, although some found it quite dismissive.
“We are grateful to be made aware of the situation and have reached out to the parents and apologized. This is an unacceptable human error and we are looking into it to ensure that this never happens again.”
For Amy Whittaker Anders, the statement was lacking. While she agrees that mistakes happen, she points back to the fact that this has repeatedly occurred. She concluded that she finds the incident to be an issue of neglect and apathy rather than simply “human error.”
“I have no idea how someone could not see this was bad when handing it out!” she replied.
Anders now makes sure that her son receives a proper lunch every day, realizing that the public school system certainly cannot be trusted to provide it. While it is undeniably the responsibility of the parents to ensure that their children are properly fed, it’s still disturbing that the people trusted to educate and care for these kids would miss something so crucial and obvious.