Jimmie Keys is irate. The Kent, Washington father says that a cafeteria worker at Middle Creek Middle School threw his son’s lunch in the garbage because the boy was 26 cents short of being able to pay for it. As KOMO 4 News reports, a Kent School District spokesperson has confirmed the incident happened and is apologizing on behalf of the district.
As KOMO notes, many Kent School District students pay for their lunches through a meal account. Mr. Keys’s son had only 14 cents left in his account when he took his lunch to a cashier. Instead of letting the child eat his lunch and forgiving the 26 cents, however, the employee threw his food in the garbage. "My first instinct was to get a huge jar of pennies, and get it ready," Mr. Keys told KOMO. "I was going to take it down to the school and throw it on 'em."
Kent School District spokesperson Chris Loftis told KOMO that the father’s allegations are true. "I just have to say sorry to this student, sorry to the parents," Mr. Loftis told the Seattle-based news station. "We made a mistake, we need to fix it, we're sorry." He did say that the cafeteria worker did not intend to be mean, and was following what they thought was proper procedure, but in the end, "We forgot the humanity of it.” KOMO notes the district will now change its policy; families will be notified when meal accounts are down to one dollar.
More info: KOMO