Stacy Koltiska, a former elementary school lunch lady in Pennsylvania, has brought down the hammer of justice and spilled the beans on an elementary school’s cruel rule that targets children for their parents’ past due balances.
Koltiska posted on her facebook page last week that she was no longer employed by Wylandville Elementary School ‘s cafeteria, citing her reason for leaving as a new policy that the school had implemented that refuses lunch to any student in grades 7-12 with more than a $25 unpaid balance, and provides a lesser meal to K-6 kids while charging the same amount of money. Students K-6 are required by law to be fed a lunch regardless of unpaid balances, but Koltiska found it unreasonable to charge the parents of students fed for a full hot lunch when in reality they are given a cheese sandwich, regardless of the lunch menu that day. After having to serve a cheese sandwich to a student more than once and being forced to take the lunch away that was afforded to other students, she decided that her conscience would not allow her to work for an establishment with such rules, and she is letting her voice be heard.
Health should not have anything to do with wealth, but that is often the case, as it is at Wylandville Elementary. A cheese sandwich is not a balanced meal. Through no fault of their own, children have been placed in an embarrassing spot – all kids can see who is offered a different meal than everyone else – while adding the same charge to the parents’ balance as everyone else’s lunch costs, all because of an unpaid balance that could have been addressed with the parents directly.
Canon McMillan District Superintendent Matthew Daniels told local news station WTAE that the new policy was put into place to help keep parents’ accounts current, that it does not affect children who utilize financial assistance, and that is was never meant to embarrass a child. The problem is that it is embarrassing children. Koltiska said that as she took a child’s chicken sandwich away and replaced it with a cheese sandwich, the child’s eyes welled with tears. The policy is placing kids who can’t always afford lunch in a lesser category for all other students to witness. It shames students and places them in the crossfire for something that should be left to their parents and the administration to work out.
Kids should not be punished for grown-up problems. Let’s leave them out of it and let the adults do the politicking so they can focus on growing up without undue embarrassment. It’s hard enough to be a kid as it is.