Tags: boy | school lunch | policy | snatched | birthday

Ohio Student's 'Worst Birthday Ever' Prompts School to Change Lunch Policy

Ohio Student's 'Worst Birthday Ever' Prompts School to Change Lunch Policy
(Jesse Kunerth/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Thursday, 12 September 2019 01:13 PM

Jefferson Sharpnack had his "worst birthday ever" at school last month when his lunch was snatched out of his hands over a $9 debt in his school account.

"He was bullied," heartbroken grandmother Diane Bailey said of the incident, according to WJW.

Jefferson’s school, Green Primary School in Uniontown, Ohio, has now amended its school lunch policy amid public outcry.

The boy woke up that day excited to be turning 9, but things took a bad turn at lunchtime, his meal was removed from his tray and replaced with some bread and cheese.

"I got my cheesy breadsticks," he told WEWS. "And when I was going to check out, the lunch lady didn’t say anything, took away my cheesy breadsticks and sauce, put them over there, and took out bread on cheese from the fridge and put it on my tray."

He was then handed a note stating that his lunch account was $9 in arrears.

Jefferson recently moved in with Bailey, who has temporary custody. She had enrolled him in the school lunch subsidy program, but the paperwork hadn’t been approved by the time his Aug. 30 birthday rolled around, leaving his account in arrears.

When Jefferson came home with the note, he said, “‘Grandma! Worst birthday ever!’” Bailey told WJW, explaining that she immediately took up the matter with the school.

"In my mind, he didn’t owe anything. I owed the money," she told WEWS. "And my other question is, if they take the food off of your tray, they have to throw it away. You would take the food off a tray and you can’t reserve it? You’re going to throw it away and not feed the child? That doesn’t make sense to me."

Officials said school policy dictated that students with delinquent accounts would not get the standard lunch of day, but instead would be "provided a lunch that includes fruit, vegetables, and either a cheese quesadilla or cheese sandwich."

But after Jefferson’s bad birthday, the policy has been changed. In a statement, Superintendent Jeff Miller announced that all students from K-12 would receive the standard lunch for the day regardless of their account balance.

"We are sensitive to the financial hardship families incur and challenges presented due to the cost of school breakfast and lunches," Miller continued. "Our staff, in coordination with Family Support Specialists, will continue to work with families to ensure they have access to all available resources to assist with purchasing school meals."

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Jefferson Sharpnack had his "worst birthday ever" at school last month when his lunch was snatched out of his hands over a $9 debt in his school account."He was bullied," heartbroken grandmother Diane Bailey said of the incident, according to WJW.Jefferson's school, Green...
boy, school lunch, policy, snatched, birthday
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2019-13-12
Thursday, 12 September 2019 01:13 PM
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