Student Ordered to Throw out Lunch
Madison County High School students tweeted out a photo of 15-year-old Dominic Russell who refused to obey cafeteria staff.
I was in the hole $26, and I think and I had already gotten my lunch and I had walked back to the table, said Russell.
Because he owed the money for past unpaid lunches when he got to the cafeteria register with his tray Thursday, he said a lunch lady laid down the rule now being enforced.
They came to my table, and got me and made go back up and throw it away, said Russell who refused o throw out the fresh food.
Classmates held up signs in support protesting staff penalizing kids who owe for debt on lunches.
The lunch lady had been throwing away food that hadnt been touched because people have built up a debt on their account, said Ragen Treadway.
I think it was humiliating for the kids that didn't have the money to pay for their lunch, said Angela Riddle, whose daughter attends the high school.
As for Russell, students began chanting Let Him Eat sparking a mini-protest on Twitter.
They never told me I had a negative balance until today, said Russell.
But principal Steve Bowlin tells News 13 each time a student eats they're told.
At $15 dollars, they start really informing them tomorrow make sure to bring in your lunch money make sure you bring in your lunch money,
They've never sat with a trash can telling people to throw their lunch away, said Hanna Farmer, an 11th grader.
I think its completely insane, said Gabi Smith, a 10th grader. You shouldn't make a student throw away his lunch just because he's behind on funding.
I just pulled out a five, gave them the money and told them to keep the change, said Russell.
Dominic ended up paying for his lunch, but feels the issue of food getting wasted has now been exposed. What happens next is now up to administrators.
If this is a North Carolina policy, which Im told it is, I think they should re-evaluate, said Riddle.
Administrators are trying to clamp down on a huge annual student lunch debt with students accruing bills that never get paid. Madison County students say this is the first time they've witnessed lunch staff ordering students to throw out their lunches. The staff will offer them a peanut butter and jelly sandwich but not the regular lunch.
The principal has already planned a Monday meeting with students to see what other ways they could deal with students racking up cafeteria debts that ultimately end up costing the school.
by Kimberly King
Follow Kim on Twitter @KimKingReports