When Jon Bivens 8-year-old son came home with a smiley-face stamp on his arm, the Alabama dad thought something good had happened at school. But when he inspected the stamp more closely, he got angry. The stamp wasn't praising the third-grader for doing a good job. Instead, it was calling the boy out for a lack of funds in his lunch money account.
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Bivens was puzzled as well as angry. The account still had $1.38. Besides, he told AL.com, why hadn't the school emailed the parents or called instead of putting a "I need lunch money" stamp on his son's arm for his classmates to see--and possibly make fun of?
Father says his son was 'branded' with 'I need lunch money' stamphttps://t.co/FElaAtpkcw pic.twitter.com/tK7F0c9Ajy— FOX25 News Boston (@fox25news) June 15, 2016
Father says his son was 'branded' with 'I need lunch money' stamphttps://t.co/FElaAtpkcw pic.twitter.com/tK7F0c9Ajy
The school's principal said the usual way is to call or email parents when their child's lunch money funds get low. If parents don't pay attention, then the school notifies them in other ways--for instance, through stickers or stamps on the kids.
Bivens isn't buying this. "It's a form of bullying and shaming the kids," he told the Alabama site, adding that his son was "branded." And since there were only a few days left in the school year, he wasn't planning on adding to the account.
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The school now says that parents can request an email-only notification. But wouldn't it be better if the school had been more discrete in the first place and opted for an text, call, or even a note in the student's backpack? We think so!
via Scary Mommy and Al.com