The change.org petition calling on the administration and board of school district 9-R to end its policy of lunch-shaming – serving partial meals to students because of lunch debt, which could be a cheese stick or, as a board member told us recently, crackers from the salad bar – garnered well over 2,000 signatures before the board relented and agreed to reconsider the long-standing policy in advance of Tuesday’s board meeting.
A year ago, 9-R administrators scolded a teacher for holding a fundraiser to pay off lunch debt because she wanted to temporarily end the shaming. Lately, 9-R’s superintendent has said lunch-shaming is required under federal and state policies, and if 9-R failed to serve partial lunches as a matter of its own policy, it could lose hundreds of thousands of dollars – which sounded like hokum to us.
Before Tuesday’s meeting, 9-R surrendered unconditionally.
“Dear Durango residents,” began a message from a board member on Facebook, “You asked for revision of the 9-R School District Lunch Policy and YOU GOT IT!
“Your 9-R school board members have heard your plea and your 9-R district staff worked tirelessly to reform the lunch policy. Thank you to the district staff for making these revisions and thank you to the Durango community for expressing your care and concern for the nutrition of our 9-R students.”
Where before 9-R stated that the sins of the parents would be visited on their sons, the policy now speaks volumes plainly by what it does not say. Now it is a fit policy for educators:
“Should the meal balance go below $0.00, the child will charge all available reimbursable meals to their lunch account. Parents or guardians will be asked to pay for meals.”
Look how easy that was.
Good work, 9-R.