Boy Humiliated After Having 'Lunch Money' Stamped On Wrist

"I think there’s a better way to communicate the message than stamping a child with the word ‘Lunch Money,'" parent Tara Chavez said to BuzzFeed News.

A child in Phoenix, Arizona, was reportedly stamped on the wrist after not having enough lunch money in his account, BuzzFeed News reports

The second grader attends Desert Cove Elementary, and he told his mom, Tara Chavez, that he was given the stamp, which read "LUNCH MONEY," without being asked.

“My kid’s really weird about stuff like that, so I asked if he was given a choice by the lunch lady and he said, ‘No, she just grabbed my wrist and put the stamp on,'" Chavez said to BuzzFeed News.

The stamp is reportedly intended to remind parents to put more money in the child's account, but when Chavez checked, there was still 75 cents left. (It may be safe to assume this amount wasn't enough to cover the entire lunch.)

Still, Chavez said she usually receives a note in her son's folder when the account needs more cash.

More importantly, her son was extremely embarrassed by the stamp.

"He was screaming and crying the entire time," Chavez said. "He was humiliated — didn't even want me to take a picture of it."

In an email written to Chavez, school principal Stacey Orest wrote, "[The staff member in the cafeteria] doesn't want the students to be embarrassed either so she is supposed to ask them if they want a stamp or a reminder slip." She also mentioned that she'd talk to the specific staffer responsible for the stamping.

While the stamping itself was likely not meant to serve as punishment to the student, the emotional repercussions of it were clearly not well-reflected by staff members at Desert Cove Elementary. 

Let's hope the school throws out this policy entirely and discovers a new (and less problematic) way to alert parents about lunch funds. 

Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Rick Wilking

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