Student Goes Hungry After Being 30 Cents Short For Breakfast

Posted at 10:38 PM, Nov 08, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-08 23:34:09-05

DICKINSON, Tx. – A mother in Texas is furious at her son’s school, after she says they threw out her son’s breakfast when he didn’t have 30 cents to pay for it.

KTRK reports that Jennifer Castilleja’s 12-year-old son is a sixth grader at Barber Middle School, which is part of the Dickinson Intermediate School District.

On Wednesday, Jennifer says she got a call from her son asking if she could bring him some money for breakfast. Jennifer’s son is on a reduced meal plan at the school and pays for his food with an account that his mother deposits money into. This week, the account was empty.

“I said, ‘Well, I’m on my way, I’ll pay for it,'” says Jennifer, “and she said no, I would have to bring some money before he could have breakfast.”

KTRK says that the reduced breakfast only cost 30 cents, but the cafeteria server threw the boy’s breakfast away and sent him to class.

“There were kids all around him. I think he may have been a little embarrassed and upset and, of course, hungry,” said Jennifer.

This week, Dickinson ISD spoke to the news station, telling them this is a policy that the district stands by. They also issued the following statement:

“Dickinson ISD’s procedure is that we do not allow student charges for breakfast. Many school districts follow this same procedure. Students get verbal warnings to let parents know once the account starts getting low. Written warnings are sent home to parents before money runs out.”

While Jennifer admits that either her son forgot to tell her about the account balance, or she didn’t fill it, her son should have been allowed to eat and pay the school back the money.

“Anything than sending them to class hungry,” says the boy’s mom.

Jennifer did drive up to her son’s school to give him food and replenish the account.

Dickinson ISD has not announced any plans to change its policy regarding the reduced lunch payments.

To see KTRK’s original report, click here.