‘I Need Lunch Money’ Stamped On Elementary Kid’s Arm In Alabama

An elementary school in Alabama thought that the most effective way to remind parents to add lunch money was to stamp a third-grader's arm.


Gardendale Elementary School in Alabama believed publicly shaming a child was the best way to remind his parents to add lunch money to his account.

The third grade son of Jon Bivens received an ‘I need lunch money’ stamp on his arm, which Bivens initially “thought…was a 'good job' stamp.” He later realized it was the school’s method of reminding him to give lunch money to his son.

According to ThinkProgress, Nez Calhoun, the Jefferson County Schools director of public information, defended the move: “They get a stamp to notify the parents. We'll call, write letters — whichever way — but all children get stamps when [their accounts] are at zero dollars to get awareness up."

The principal of Gardendale backed Calhoun up, citing similar practices used on all children.

Not only is this a ridiculous method, considering kids can accidently wash away a stamp or a parent can miss it, but it brings a child’s financial situation to the public eye.

As Bivens told the Huntsville Times, “It's a form of bullying and shaming the kids.”

Hopefully following the public backlash, the elementary school will rethink its methods. 

Banner Image Credit: Twitter, @ThinkProgress

View Comments

Recommended For You