School must offer a nutritious meal to all children
Thursday, June 20, 2013 11:00 AM
In an odd series of events, the Madison Consolidated School Board last week approved $3,500 to install a crosswalk between the high school and the McDonalds restaurant across the street so that kids can safely get a Coke and a cheeseburger.
At the same meeting, the board heard the first reading of an amended policy that says elementary school students with a negative balance of $25 will be served an alternative lunch consisting of either a peanut butter sandwich or cheese sandwich with juice until the balance is paid.
The student also won't be served breakfast until the balance is paid.
At the junior high school, five school lunches can be charged to the school. After those five lunches, students can receive a peanut butter or cheese sandwich with juice for free until the charges are paid. Parents will be notified after the second charge.
No charges will be allowed at the high school, so students who can't afford the regular school lunch will receive a peanut butter or cheese sandwich and juice.
This is a tough situation ... We understand that the school corporation cannot indefinitely pay for student lunches, and some students already are on a free or reduced-cost meal program.
But one fact is beyond debate - a cheese or peanut butter sandwich is not enough nutrition for a child who is expected to perform well throughout the school day, and no child should be singled out.
The board needs to find a solution so that every child receives a full meal. For some, a school lunch is the only meal a child might receive.
If children are hungry in Madison, Indiana in 2013, it doesn't matter that a school needs a new roof. It doesn't matter that computers need to be updated. It doesn't matter that more teachers and staff are needed.
School Supt. Ginger Studebaker-Bolinger has told the school board to continue to look for solutions. This is a community-wide issue. Offer to help with a solution. Call Bolinger, a school board member or a school principal with your ideas.
No child deserves to be humiliated and denied a good meal.