As of late, there has been a swath of good news stories splashed across headlines highlighting the average person taking it upon themselves to pay off the lunch debt of students. That’s right… the debt of kids who are having to take out loans within our public school systems just to eat a standard meal.
These stories are powerfully shining a light on child poverty across America, and now the United Kingdom, as it pertains to our education system and the need for more sustainable solutions to a growing issue. Stories like this one, where the family of an autistic child was not able to afford his assigned cooking supplies for his economics class.
When he arrived to class without them, he wasn’t met with a solution or compassion from the teacher, but instead was assigned detention as a punishment. An infuriating outcome for an already heartbreaking situation.
The story is now gaining traction across Twitter after this young boy’s mother took to social media to speak out against the humiliation her son was forced to endure. “One of my children has been told he will get a detention at school today. The reason? We can’t afford the ingredients for cooking that the school only told him about yesterday. A poverty detention…is this fair,” she asked.
Her question has ignited an online community of support around her with one user commenting: “This is horrific, I think you need to tag the school into this so they can read some of the feedback. I understand schools cannot fund ingredients for everyone but they need to ensure that no child is singled out let alone punished for not being able to bring them in. Shocking.”
With another user writing, “Wrong on so many levels. The school used to provide all the ingredients in my day. All we ever needed was a Tupperware to bring the inevitable disaster home.”
The student’s mother then shared an update to the thread, stating, “I am waiting for a call from the school [and] hope they have a more reasonable approach. It is possible this problem relates to just one teacher. Thank you for all your support, he won’t be doing the detention no matter what they say….but I’ll keep you posted!”
Injustice is hard to see, especially when it involves a young child forced to grapple with the realities and, in this case, unfair punishments that are simply outside of his control.
We are wishing this family peace, grace and financial breakthrough as they navigate these unfortunate circumstances.