School Gives Students Detention For Not Being Able To Afford Lunch

Isabella Ohlmeyer
A headmistress at a free school in London is penalizing students with detention because their parents have school lunch debt for their kids’ meals.

Students at a London school are now being forced to detention if their school lunch payments are late or not paid at all by their parents.

Katharine Birbalsingh, headmistress at Michaela Community School, told parents that she is punishing students with “lunch isolations” if their school lunches were not paid on time to the school, The Independent reported.

“You are currently £75 overdue. If this full amount is not received within this week your child will be placed into Lunch Isolation,” she said in a letter to one parent.

If children’s lunches haven’t been paid off, those children will receive an alternative lunch, which consists of just a sandwich and a piece of fruit and will be forced to sit by themselves during lunch time.

At a Tory Party conference five years ago, Birbalsingh was praised for criticizing the school system, but with praise came a lot of backlash as well, according to The Telegraph.  

In her speech, she accused the education system of "keeping poor pupils poor.“ Ironically, she is now being condemned for the way she treats poor children in schools. 

Birbalsingh was let go from her job as a teacher at the Church of England-sponsored St. Michael and All Angels Academy in London and became employed at Michaela Community School.

katharine birbalsingh

Parents who got the letter are already starting to criticize the strict teacher for it. 

Dionne Kelly, a parent to one of the students, told the Daily Mail, “I found the letter quite threatening. Isolating children for their parents not paying upfront is degrading. It’s embarrassing for poor families.”

It seems hypocritical that the headmistress is isolating children and threatening poor families such as the Kelly family given her former critique. Choosing to punish students for their parent’s financial obligations is absolutely ridiculous and Michaela Community School officials need to contemplate whether having this woman as their headmistress is benefiting their education system or not. 

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