Ohio boy had school lunch taken away on birthday due to negative balance

State News

GREEN, OH (WCMH) — The family of an Ohio student claims lunchroom staff humiliated the boy by taking away his lunch away from him on his birthday, in front of all his friends, all because of a negative lunch-debt balance.  

“The lunch lady didn’t say anything, took away my cheesy breadsticks and sauce, put them over there, and took out bread, cheese on bread out of the fridge and put it on my lunch tray,” Jefferson Sharpnack told WEWS

Jefferson came home Friday, August 30, with a note stating his account balance was in the negative, something Green Local Schools administrators say is protocol.  

“Students receive multiple means of communication whenever their account become in the negative,” stated Assistant Superintendent Alana Niemiec. 

But what happened the following Tuesday, on Jefferson’s 9th birthday, left his grandmother in tears. 

“You would take the food off of a tray. You can’t reserve it you’re going to throw it away and not feed the child? That doesn’t make sense to me,” said Diane Bailey. 

She says her grandson was humiliated in front of his classmates. 

Bailey claims she spoke with school administrators after receiving the notice of negative funds, in hopes of straightening out the issues.   

Her grandson’s enrollment in the free and reduced lunch program had not been finalized yet.  

The Superintendent of Green Local Schools says policy changes are already being considered.  

“We are reviewing all of those specifics. We’re considering the idea of raising that debt cap from 15 to make sure that the student experience is positive in the lunchroom,” Niemiec told WEWS. 

The principal at Jefferson’s school says the lunchroom staff has been addressed following Tuesday’s incident.  

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