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School Facing Criticism As Students With Lunch Debt Are Served 'Alternative School Lunches’

High School Facing Criticism for Forcing Students with Lunch Debt to Have 'Alternative School Lunches’

Kokomo High School in Indiana is facing national criticism after shaming students who owe lunch debt with alternative lunches, which in pictures appears to be just bread and two slices of cheese.

According to, students who owed over $25 on their lunch accounts were given alternative lunches during lunch time, publicly embarrassing them by being served only two slices of break and two slices of cheese.

The high school argued that only 10 percent of the in-debt accounts come from low-income families with students on reduced or free lunch and said that the 499 students who carry debts on their lunch accounts is a financial burden on the school, requiring action to be taken.

The school’s communications director, David Barnes, argued that the extreme measure was a result of $50,000 in debt from unpaid lunch bills, putting the district at risk of losing federal funding.

"'Some of these people on the list, I'm sorry, are making $100,000 a year,' said David Barnes, the communications director for Kokomo School Corporation. 'Family of four, and have a debt over $100. I'm sorry, those people need to pay their bills,” he said, according to the article.

The school, according to the article, has suspended the controversial practice until February to give parents a chance to pay without further embarrassing their children.

Despite the move being effective seeing as $15,000 in unpaid debt has reportedly been paid off, parents in the school and nationwide are appalled that the district would resort to embarrassing a child.

What is being referred to as the “sandwich of shame” was brought to national attention after a student at the high school shared it on her Facebook page. That post can be seen below.



If you owe $25 or more on your lunch account, this is what Kokomo High School provides you for lunch. Two slices of...

Posted by Sierra Feitl on Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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