Elementary School in Alabama Places "I Need Lunch Money" On Student’s Arm

Elementary School in Alabama Places "I Need Lunch Money" On Student’s Arm
Source: AP
Source: AP

An elementary school in Alabama is under fire for sending a third grade student home with a stamp on his arm that read "I Need Lunch Money," the Huntsville Times reported. 

Jon Bivens, whose son recently completed third grade at Gardendale Elementary School in Gardendale, Alabama, paid no attention to the stamp at first glance. 

"I thought it was a 'good job' stamp," Bivens told the Huntsville Times. 

Upon further inspection, the father noticed the stamp was a message informing the student's parents that their lunch money account was low on funds. 

According to Jefferson County Schools director of public information Nez Calhoun, placing stamps on students is "pretty standard," according to ThinkProgress

"They get a stamp to notify the parents," the Jefferson County Schools director told ThinkProgress. "We'll call, write letters — whichever way — but all children get stamps when [their accounts] are at zero dollars to get awareness up." 

Gardendale Elementary School Principal Laura Ware echoed Calhoun's statement, telling the Huntsville Times that the school uses stickers and stamps to notify parents that their child's lunch account is low if they don't promptly respond to email notifications.

Bivens, who feels as though his son was "branded," did not receive any notification that his son was running low on funds for lunch. "It's a form of bullying and shaming the kids," Bivens, who wasn't planning on placing money in his son's account because the school year was coming to an end, told the Huntsville Times.

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Philip Lewis

Philip Lewis is a programming editor at Mic. He was previously an editorial fellow for 'The Huffington Post'. He can be reached at plewis@mic.com

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