Texas Middle School Throws Out Studentís Breakfast Over Chump Change

Written by Bryce Covert

Barber Middle School in Dickinson, Texas,†threw out a student’s breakfast because his account was short 30 cents, according to ABC affiliate KTRK.

The student receives reduced priced meals, but they are paid for by an account that his mother, Jennifer Castilleja, puts money into. While the school gives warnings when accounts are low, his family must have forgotten to replenish it, but rather than letting her pay it later in the day, Castilleja says the school told her the money would have to come before her son could get breakfast. The cafeteria threw his lunch in the trash.”There were kids all around him,” his mother said. “I think he may have been a little embarrassed and upset and, of course, hungry.”

The school told KTRK, “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.”

But some school districts would avoid this problem altogether because they have made all school meals, both breakfast and lunch, free to all students. In a different part of the state,†Dallas took this step in October, giving free meals to all students regardless of their family income. That will save families money and a hassle in the paperwork to get enrolled in free or reduced meal programs, and it will save the district from having to hire workers to keep up with increasing demand. Boston†took the same step in September. These cities are taking part in a national program called “Community Eligibility Option” that waives meal fees for all students and is also being implemented in Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit and parts of New York City. Yet across the country,†half the students who are eligible for free breakfast don’t receive it.

The move to waive fees for meals comes at a time of high levels of hunger among the country’s students.†Three-quarters of the nation’s teachers report having students routinely show up to school hungry, and half say hunger is a serious problem in their classrooms.†More than one in five children lacks steady access to food.

But hunger takes a big toll on young kids. Students who struggle with hunger†fall behind their peers academically. If 70 percent of those who are eligible for free breakfasts actually received them,†3.2 million students would score higher on tests and 807,000 more would graduate high school. Hunger also leaves children†more susceptible to mental illness ó it’s a more significant factor that poverty or the education level of their parents.

This post was originally published in ThinkProgress

Photo Credit: USDA


Jim Ven
Jim Vabout a year ago

thanks for the article.

Panchali Yapa
Panchali Yapa3 years ago

Thank you

Kat a.
Kathy L3 years ago

This is beyond shameful!!!! Not only do they humiliate the child, they let him go hungry, and waste food all at the same time.

Amanda M.
Amanda M3 years ago

People are so friggin' selfish that they would rather let a kid go hungry than wait till the afternoon when Mom or Dad can "reload" the account! This is barbaric and outright STUPID.

And is anyone else surprised that such ass-backwards thinking is coming from TEXAS? No offense to the people who actually have brains that live there, but I swear the collective IQ of the state is taking a constant nose dive!

Shannon Moody
Shannon Moody3 years ago

30 cents? that is beyond f-ing ridiculous. That school should be ashamed of itself

Gina G.
Gina G3 years ago

Rather than let the child eat breakfast, they threw it out. Yes, that's not wasting food, is it? Stupid people at that school. And they are supposed to be teaching children?

Paola Ballanti
Paola B3 years ago


Karen Gee3 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

A F.
Athena F3 years ago

The hell is wrong with people? Throw it out rather than give it to a hungry kid just to prove a point? Outrageous!

vicky T.
vicky T3 years ago

Must have been so embarrassing for the little guy. He's only 12 years old!