School's Reaction To Forgotten Lunch Disappoints Mother
Teaching Lesson Thwarted When School Fed Student Lunch
HOBE SOUND, Fla. -- Laura Cancio's Hobe Sound home is organized. She has her family's dinners planned out on a calendar for the rest of the month. Mornings run pretty smoothly.
The mother of four has a posted morning routine for her school-aged boys to follow. One of the chores includes putting their lunches in their lunch boxes.
One day in December, Everett, a fourth-grade student at Sea Wind Elementary School, forgot to assemble and bring his lunch. Cancio noticed when she returned home from dropping him at the bus stop.
She said she wrote an e-mail to his teacher asking that he not be provided snacks or lunch because she felt this would teach him a lesson about responsibility. Plus, she said, he'd eaten a healthy breakfast and he would eat promptly when he returned from school at 2:30 p.m.
The staff at the elementary school appeared to have thought differently. Everett was given a lunch.
Cancio said when her son returned home, he asked her if what she had done was "illegal" because someone at the school had told him it was against the law not to feed a child lunch.
Cathleen Brennan of the Martin County School District issued this statement:
"Educational research clearly shows that students who are well nourished do better in school, both academically and behaviorally. As such, it is not the practice of the School District to withhold meals from students."
Ultimately, Cancio said she was not asked to pay the $1.75 for the lunch. But that's not the point, she said.
"I don't expect them to agree with me, but I expect them to support my decision," she said.