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Every student deserves the same hot meal, no matter what’s in the account

Richfield Public Schools made national headlines recently, and unfortunately it wasn’t for any of the good work happening in our schools. A video went viral showing more than 40 high school students’ hot lunches being thrown away because their accounts showed a balance over $15 in the negative.

As this has unfolded, we heard from Richfield’s superintendent, the principal, students, community members, state politicians from both parties, and even Bernie Sanders. But one important voice was missing — the actual food service workers at Richfield High School (RHS).

I’ve worked in the kitchen at RHS for three years. There are a lot of reasons why we do this work, but highest on the list is our relationships with students. When lunch starts and the students come in, it’s our favorite part of the day.

‘Look what I got!’

Here’s one example. A special needs student we know usually barely touches his lunch. One day last week he asked me for a turkey ham and cheese sandwich. We didn’t have one ready, but I promised him I’d make him one the next day. The following day when he got his sandwich, he was ecstatic. He was so excited, telling everyone, “Look what I got! Look what I got!” and ate not only the sandwich, but all his lunch — including his fruit and veggies.


I almost cried. That sandwich made his day — and so it made my day. If it helps him to have that sandwich every day, that’s what I’m going to give him, for the rest of his time in high school.

That’s why I love my job. That’s what we do in the kitchen. And that’s why what happened the other week was so disturbing to all of us in the RHS kitchen.

I couldn’t do it anymore

That day, just before lunch began, I was instructed to remove students’ hot lunches who were over that negative $15 balance, and instead give them a cold lunch. I took away a couple of lunches, but I had to stop. I couldn’t do it anymore. It’s wrong.

Grace Jennings
Grace Jennings
Not one of us in the kitchen agreed with this plan. In fact, the person shown on video throwing away all those lunches isn’t even a food service worker.

The Richfield School Board approved this policy of giving alternate lunches in 2017. Yes, the district needs to be accountable for its terrible implementation, but that policy should never have been approved.

It was right for the district to apologize to Richfield students. Now it’s time for the district be accountable to its employees, and apologize for putting us in this situation in the first place. We should never be involved with meal debts or giving students alternative lunches. Our job is to feed students and help them feel at home in our schools. Period.

Moving forward

Since that day, there have been many tough conversations about how we move forward. We have seen some good, including a fundraising push that raised enough to wipe out all of the current lunch debt. If we take on this challenge, and don’t just sweep it under the rug, maybe we can end up in a better place for our students and for us as food service workers. But for that to happen, it means that the district’s policy needs to change so this situation never happens again. Every student deserves the same hot meal, no matter what’s in their account.

Grace Jennings is a kitchen production cook at Richfield ISD 280 and a member of  SEIU Local 284.


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Comments (56)

  1. Submitted by James Hamilton on 12/05/2019 - 09:10 am.

    At what point did our schools become the primary caregiver for our children?

    While not universal, we have before and after school daycare, breakfast, and now calls for free lunch for all. One group or another calls for another task to be imposed every month, from teaching kids how to garden to meditation.

    Is there something wrong with a cold lunch, packed at home or prepared at the school? If our families lack the resources to send their kids off to school with a mid-day meal, shouldn’t we focus on ensuring that every family has enough for every member of the household to eat each day?

    Efforts such as this simply paper over the cracks in our walls. They do nothing to correct the problems in the foundations that cause them.

    • Submitted by Toni Bergner on 12/05/2019 - 11:24 am.

      Mr. Hamilton …. in trying to answer your question with my humble opinion, I believe that schools became the primary caregiver to children, not at a point, but over a long period of time. It has evolved in this way because there are numerous parents who should not be parents … and so schools have gradually taken on the responsibilities and costs of parenting. And there are some loving parents who just can’t make ends meet for their families. In this case, it is feeding their children. I don’t have enough space to list all of the responsibilities that schools and educators now have … it is enormous. People complain about the costs of education, and I am disturbed about that, also … but, it is because of those enormous additional responsibilities of being parents to kids whose biological parents can’t or won’t parent properly. We have become a selfish society, a me first society, an I want society, a materialistic, wasteful society … at the expense of children. Thank God for schools and educators !

      I too, ate cold, brown bag lunches and was very happy with that. But, please understand that some parents don’t even wake up in the morning to help their kids out the door in the morning. I have seen numerous kids waiting for the school bus or come to school not dressed for the cold weather …. parents weren’t even awake to see them out the door. In the old days, my days, a brown bag school lunch was common … it has now become a sign that your family is poor and stigmatizes kids. I believe all kids should have the same opportunity …. school uniforms, free school lunches, etc.

      It is my opinion that there are enough resources for families who have less or not enough … the problem is that some parents, and especially in certain areas, aren’t responsible enough to even seek those resources or help themselves and their children and have the attitude ‘let some else do it.’

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 12/06/2019 - 09:04 am.

      We’re talking about food, not parenting. Feeding children in school became an “issue” when our economy stopped paying living wages to millions of parents. The fact that Republicans would starve children in order to punish their parents for earning low wages is just another example of their moral vacuity.

      • Submitted by Toni Bergner on 12/06/2019 - 12:55 pm.

        I think we are probably both right.

        However, even with a decent living wage, would that solve the problem of irresponsible parents budgeting and prioritizing poorly, spending money efficiently, making their children’s food a priority rather than spending on cigarettes and alcohol and drugs, being wasteful? Would that decent living wage end the problem of some parents, who are not responsible, not caring for their kids properly … monitoring, mentoring, checking, teaching them …. ?

        • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 12/06/2019 - 04:09 pm.

          Toni, irresponsible parents come in all shapes and sizes and income brackets. We’re talking about feeding children here. What if anything teaches responsible parenting is a different issue entirely. Most of these kids come from families and parents that work very hard to pay their way and take care of their families.

      • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 12/06/2019 - 08:24 pm.

        Think Paul has a good point, many companies increase their bottom line by lets call it wage starving employees, since most of the unions have been pretty much decimated, its the $13 Hr worker against the $multi-billion company with all their resources. Ironically they push their costs off to the general public, governemnt, and then folks cry about taxes going up and then turn around and cry how $billionaires are getting over taxed. End of the day what kind of country do you want? Where they starve the kids to keep the oligarchs in private jets?

  2. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 12/05/2019 - 09:14 am.

    “Every student deserves the same hot meal, no matter what’s in their account.” So what you’re essentially saying then is that there shouldn’t even be accounts if the contents are irrelevant. Free hot lunches for all students. Eliminate the account system entirely.

    The school lunch program has been around since the 1960s. I usually brought a sandwich and some cookies in a brown paper bag, but when I did decide to be lazy that day and buy my lunch, it was 25 cents for the hot entree and a carton of milk or 5 to 10 cents for ala carte items. We paid the cashier at the end of the line in cash money. There were no surprises because you knew what was in your pocket.

    The account system started in the 80s as a convenience that perhaps brought with it a lot of unintended consequences. The idea should be re-thought out and the taxpayers should decide how much they want to subsidize … all or none.

    • Submitted by Toni Bergner on 12/05/2019 - 11:28 am.

      So you believe that elementary aged kids (let’s say 5 year olds), and kids in general, should be organized enough to plan their day in the morning and find money around the house before they leave for school. And, what if they can’t find money around the house or if mom or dad or no adult has the money available? I think you should re-think this.

      • Submitted by James Hamilton on 12/05/2019 - 04:36 pm.

        Perhaps some of the parents could think just a bit further ahead than you suggest.

        • Submitted by Matt Haas on 12/06/2019 - 11:14 am.

          Perhaps, but that is neither here nor there. The parents aren’t suffering from the policy, do you think if they, as you suggest, are simply derelict in their parenting duties, will care one whit if their children are subject to the humiliation such a policy intends? Why? You literally are suggesting public humiliation, of children, to spite parents with whose lifestyles you disagree, regardless whether or not they even care about your outrage. Think about that for sec, who is the WORST actor in that scenario?

    • Submitted by ian wade on 12/06/2019 - 01:42 am.

      Cool story.I’ll bet you walked ten miles to school, uphill both ways. Now tell us how your lunch experience sixty years ago is in any way relevant to the world today? Or was this just another “kids today” rant?

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 12/06/2019 - 09:09 am.

      Here’s what actually happened in the 80’s: Reagan and Republicans launched their war on the middle class and the poor with the consent of neoliberal Democrats. Government deficits and serial economic recessions followed while middle class wages stagnated for the first time since WWII. This pattern has been stable no for decades, and the Great Recession exacerbated it. That’s how we ended up offering “free” food to children in schools.

  3. Submitted by richard owens on 12/05/2019 - 09:54 am.

    Another example of the deterioration in the Farm Program. Trump’s plan to remove 700,000 people from food stamps, cut food costs in his border prisons, and add work requirements to Medicaid recipients shows he is making class warfare.

    This is actual VIOLENCE. Starving Iranian children with his stupid embargoes and helping the Saudis bomb Yemeni civilians are two more kinds of violence he visits on innocents.

    This man is not just a vulgar fascist, he is a war criminal.

    What causes political leaders to hurt those who are already struggling?

    What makes bigots blame those with the very least power for the world’s problems?

    Why has conscience allowed us to publicly observe our own government making the lives of people everywhere more difficult for no good reason?

    And why oh why do the rich Republicans always feel like they are the “victims”, when they control so much of the destiny of mankind?

    • Submitted by Misty Martin on 12/05/2019 - 11:21 am.

      Mr. Owens:

      I like what you wrote. As a taxpayer, I can tell you that I’d much rather my tax dollars went toward feeding a hungry child than for instance, the $102 million that taxpayers are having to pay for the extra travel and security expenses so that our dear President Trump can play golf as often as he does.

      And to Grace Jennings: you are an exceptional human being. God bless you for seeing the needs of hungry children. And God bless the others who serve our children hot meals. The system is broken, and it needs fixing – what good did it do to throw that good food away? That seems cruel and wasteful to me, and God bless you for following your heart. Keep up the good work! Sometimes our efforts are rewarded by God’s unseen Hand, rather than by human peers. God WILL bless you indeed – He has already blessed the children who know YOU!!!!

      • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 12/09/2019 - 06:07 am.

        Who cares about $102M when we have wasted trillions on unproductive misadventures on the other side of the globe?

        Let’s keep our eye on the ball. How many school lunches equals one air craft carrier?

        • Submitted by Dan Landherr on 12/09/2019 - 10:00 am.

          How about one accountant? In order to make sure these school lunches are paid for someone has to do the accounting. A school accountant makes $35,000 to $75,000 annually. Eliminating the accounting can provide thousands of $3 lunches. You don’t hire someone at $30 an hour to count pennies one at a time.

    • Submitted by Toni Bergner on 12/05/2019 - 11:35 am.

      I certainly agree with you Mr. Owens. Do average people, most of us, actually believe that trump cares about us or the poor or disadvantaged… or any human? I have seen no indication of this. He has no idea what people in poverty, the disadvantaged, or the average person’s or even wealthy people’s lives are like … he knows about the ultra rich. He doesn’t have a clue what life is like for the vast majority of Americans …. nor does he care. I believe that trump’s attitude and values are similar to governments where dictators, the pharaohs, cruel kings ruled their countries. What a detestable man.

  4. Submitted by Toni Bergner on 12/05/2019 - 11:07 am.

    A wonderful article Ms. Jennings and so true. I have often wondered how, and at what level, the decision to embarrass these kids was made and who was responsible for its origin. And now I know that the Richfield School Board approved it and that is its start. I know their decisions are difficult, but in this case, wrong. Thank you for your courage, care and compassion in putting children first …. and letting us, as adults, solve the – – – – problems in our society that should not be put upon children.

  5. Submitted by John Eidel on 12/05/2019 - 05:34 pm.

    i think it is fair to say that the district is in a tough position. 1. They offer free/reduced lunch per federal guidelines and are reimbursed for those meals. 2. Some students are paying the full price and some a reduced price. 3. Unless we are willing as a district to provide free lunch for all students and ask for the tax revenue required to implement such a policy, what are we supposed to do with students who have been “deemed” able to pay but don’t? I think the absolute wrong answer to that question is to give the meal to the child, check their outstanding balance, and then throw it in the garbage if their balance is too high. It is absurd on its face; that food has been prepared and paid for by the district, but rather than allow the child to eat the food we throw it in the garbage? It is institutionalized shaming. It says, “we would rather prepare this food and throw it in the garbage than let you, poor child of a clear deadbeat, eat it.” I don’t know what the answer is but this isn’t it.

  6. Submitted by Tom Anderson on 12/05/2019 - 06:28 pm.

    When 25% of our children qualify for free or reduced priced lunches, and many people point out that this might be those children’s only meal of the day, when do we begin to address the problem? That is, people bearing children that they cannot afford. School lunches are a symptom, not the problem. The children are not at fault and they deserve better. Much better.

    • Submitted by Dan Landherr on 12/09/2019 - 10:06 am.

      I wish it was only 25% qualifying for free or reduced price lunch. That would be the number at a wealthy district. The average is 40% qualifying in Minnesota.

      https://data.web.health.state.mn.us/free-reduced-lunch

      One problem here is there are many families who qualify for free lunch but won’t or can’t fill out the paperwork. These are often the same families with negative lunch balances.

  7. Submitted by Connor OKeefe on 12/05/2019 - 06:55 pm.

    I knew this would end up Orange Man Bad.

    • Submitted by Matt Haas on 12/06/2019 - 09:56 am.

      Nah, as always, and truthfully, conservatives, and conservatism, are the bad actors here.

      • Submitted by richard owens on 12/06/2019 - 06:06 pm.

        To be fair, I think it is the idea of “moral hazard”. That is, conservatives (and economists) think if you give the kid a hot meal for nothing, he might become a deficient capitalist consumer.

        Judging the parents as “dead beats” isn’t fixing it. It would cost more to follow up with each parent whose kids don’t pay. They might find a drug dealer getting mom’s cash.

        …but that would cost even MORE of our precious property taxes, to follow up with the parents. We probably should, if money weren’t the whole dominant aspect.

  8. Submitted by Matt Haas on 12/06/2019 - 12:39 am.

    Simply put, when your only tool is a hammer (in this case the conservative idea that pain is the only motivational tool that is effective), every problem looks like a nail. It’s what informs the entire conservative worldview, compassion is weakness, suffering builds “character”, and to suggest either might be incorrect is to lack “common sense”.

    • Submitted by Connor OKeefe on 12/06/2019 - 10:11 am.

      “Simply put, when your only tool is a hammer (in this case the conservative idea that pain is the only motivational tool that is effective), every problem looks like a nail.”

      And the same can be said for the lefty’s reliance on naked pandering.

      Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to dust off taking responsibility for ourselves and our own families again. Seemed to work aces for the first 200 years. What do you think?

      • Submitted by Matt Haas on 12/06/2019 - 11:16 am.

        I have about as much use for conservative social engineering as you do for the liberal variety.

      • Submitted by ian wade on 12/06/2019 - 12:16 pm.

        Feeding hungry, disadvantaged kids = “Naked pandering”

        There you have it. What passes for modern conservatism in a nutshell.

      • Submitted by cory johnson on 12/07/2019 - 10:01 am.

        We can’t possibly encourage parents to value and take pride in caring for their family. That might result in less dependency on the government. And the horrifying consequence is fewer DFL voters. Perish the thought.

        • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 12/07/2019 - 06:13 pm.

          Guess that’s like running $T deficits during the best of times, let the millennial’s and x-gens etc. pay for the party, typical conservatism and Trump wisdom, don’t take responsibility for anything, let someone else pick up the tab! You know like the Minneapolis $500K+ cost tab for Trump and his cult get together!

        • Submitted by ian wade on 12/09/2019 - 11:34 am.

          Of course you’re assuming that those parents don’t already value and take pride in caring for their children. This is a common tactic of the Right.
          Despite your denial, the working poor are a very real demographic in this country. Helping them feed their kids not only provides nourishment, but also self esteem. This shouldn’t be a partisan issue and republicans shouldn’t automatically treat poverty as another excuse to demonize their fellow citizens.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 12/06/2019 - 10:58 am.

      It’s more about passing the buck to someone else. Hungry children? Well, shoot, that’s too bad, but why is it something I need to deal with?

      Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to tell women not to have an abortion, because I’m so concerned about the sanctity of life.

    • Submitted by cory johnson on 12/06/2019 - 02:44 pm.

      Richfield isn’t exactly a hotbed of conservatism.

  9. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 12/06/2019 - 09:19 am.

    The fact that “conservatives” always want to punish poor people by starving their children or putting them in cages simply reveals their moral vacuity. What’s funny is that Republicans actually brag about their morality and the superior nature of their family values. Apparently inflicting pain and poverty on families and children is exactly what Jesus would do.

    We can shovel billions of dollars into the corporate bank accounts but feeding children is a moral and civic outrage. Trump can rake in hundreds of millions by virtue of being in the White House but give a kid a hot meal and our nation is coming apart at the seams. Sure. Whatever.

    It’s time to stop dancing around this garbage. Let’s drag this evil and toxic morality out into the light of day and expose it for what it really is.

    • Submitted by Connor OKeefe on 12/06/2019 - 10:08 am.

      Or just challenge ’em to a push-up contest, maybe some wrasslin’. Seems to work for Uncle Joe…lol

      • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 12/06/2019 - 08:44 pm.

        Suppose better to put those hungry kids in cages, that’s what Trump and gang would do. That will teach them to come to school hungry, they ought to go back where they came from! Not LOL!

  10. Submitted by Gerry Anderson on 12/06/2019 - 05:24 pm.

    If they qualify for free or reduced lunch, they get it. Again, it’s not these people. It’s the ones who can afford it and choose not to pay.
    I also agree the best way to handle this is to do it ahead of time. No money, give them a cold lunch and do t throw the food away. Nobody wins on that.
    My wife worked in a school with a very high percentage of free and reduced. There were also a lot of kids that could afford but there loser parents need booze of drugs or a new cell phone. They don’t care and that is a big problem.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 12/07/2019 - 08:12 am.

      Mr. Anderson, how does you’re wife or any other school employee know how much money a kids parents have in their bank account or what they spend their money on? What due process, investigation, or proof is required in order to punish a child for the crime of their parents?

      These assumptions are based on stereo-types, rather like those that claim voter fraud is “rampant”.

      The fact that children in the US are going hungry IS a documented crises. Free school food fraud is NOT the crises here.

      When are these pseudo moralistic enforcers of financial responsibility gong to turn their eagle eye’s and laser focus on billionaires and millionaire presidents who dodge taxes and payrolls and benefits they can easily afford to pay? After all Free school lunches, subsidized housing, Medicaid, and food stamps are all just examples of taxpayers picking up bills that employers refuse to pay.

  11. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 12/07/2019 - 08:40 am.

    Frankly, the administrative costs of keeping track of these accounts, deposits, balances, and collections is probably greater than the cost of the food they’re throwing away or dispensing for free. Does the district do this in house or do they sub it out to a local bank or credit union? There must be some kind of notification process or warning program built into this as part of the administration.

    Listen, in this instance there are over 4,000 students in the Richfield school district, how much money did “save” by substituting a cold sandwich for 40 hot lunches? 40 out of 4,000 have a negative balance and they actually have a meeting to create a new “policy” about this? And THIS is what they come up with?

  12. Submitted by lisa miller on 12/08/2019 - 02:26 pm.

    It should be noted that the lunch people did not follow the district policy–so its not a Republican or Democratic issue. No kid should be shamed especially over a lunch. It is true that schools sign up parents/guardians who meet the income threshold to qualify. I work with at risk kids and yes, some parents are irresponsible and take advantage of the system just like wealthy people do in the tax system. So given the minimum wage is not going up drastically–why not have a businesses or others donate to a school food shelf that can be sent home with a child discreetly and the school social worker remind the parent to send a lunch if they cannot pay and to let them know of any barriers to assist. Or have an added tax base by parents with minor children over a certain income to pay in to a lunch fund. And then have Walmart donate some fresh fruit and veggies for snacks as well. For all the food this country wastes, there have to be reasonable solutions.

  13. Submitted by Karen Sandness on 12/09/2019 - 10:49 am.

    Negligent parents are nothing new, nor are they limited to urban areas.

    Back in the 1960s, my mother taught kindergarten in a small town west of the Twin Cities. One day, one of her students came to school with a burn on her hand.

    “How did you get that?”

    “I was frying bacon for breakfast for me and my little brother, and some grease splashed on me.” (Remember, the girl is five years old.)

    “Where was your mother?”

    “She drinks at night and doesn’t get up in the morning.”

    My mother had to take a parental role in dressing the burn and telling the girl how to keep it from becoming infected. She also said that hearing of the mother’s alcoholism her understand why the girl often came to school dressed in mismatched clothes and with uncombed hair.

    Since this was a half-day kindergarten class, I don’t know whether the girl would later have qualified for free lunch, but it has always been true that some children are left to raise themselves. Such children do not need to be humiliated as “punishment” for the failings of their parents.

    This is a rich country, and the New York Times just revealed how much money the U.S. has spent in an unsuccessful attempt to “win” in Afghanistan. (Hint: It’s in the trillions.) But when it comes to providing free lunches to all children in our schools, as many less affluent countries do, there’s “no money.”

  14. Submitted by Tom Anderson on 12/09/2019 - 06:38 pm.

    When do we get to the part where we shame parents for having children that they cannot afford? As I said in an earlier post on this thread, it is not the fault of the children. We need to apply fault, blame, and whatever else it takes to fight this scourge (the most serious problem in the country) of people having children that they cannot afford.

    • Submitted by Matt Haas on 12/10/2019 - 09:18 am.

      As much as some folks ardently wish it would, shame does not now, nor will it ever, work as a motivational tool. Just because YOU think someone should feel bad about some action or behavior, doesn’t mean that THEY will. It just doesn’t work. It’s nothing more than one’s personal self delusion that the whole world functions according to the rules one sets for oneself.

    • Submitted by Eric Snyder on 12/10/2019 - 01:12 pm.

      The only scourge I’m seeing consists of things like the following:

      -A society that commoditizes something as essential to human well-being as housing. We allow real estate developers and their financial backers to build unaffordable housing. We place no limit on the ability of sleazy real estate investment companies to buy housing stock and rental properties and jack up prices for no reason.

      -A healthcare system that’s heavily warped by profit and greed, predictably denies care for many, and causes many more to delay care they need. This system strips an extraordinary amount of wealth out of individuals and households.

      -Instead of social investment, we built prisons for the lower economic strata. The US has the highest per capita incarceration rate in the world. Our country is a model of dysfunction in this and other regards. Instead of investment in jobs and education, we decided that some people are disposable.

      Shame doesn’t work, and besides, it addresses the wrong problem. Those most blameworthy in the system are the corporate and wealthy predators who view basic human needs with varying degrees of moral indifference. They corrupt our democracy with money and capture public policy and the tax system to keep dollars flowing in their direction. Also, our politicians are mostly committed to the status quo. And then the public itself is to blame for not demanding radical reforms to broken systems.

    • Submitted by Karen Sandness on 12/11/2019 - 10:00 am.

      There are cases in which people had “those children” before they became poor. Long-term unemployment, serious illness, desertion by a spouse, and other factors can destroy the financial security of a family that was doing fine up till that point.

      • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 12/11/2019 - 06:14 pm.

        But over 25% of students? That is a lot of death, loss of jobs, illness, and spouse desertion.

        • Submitted by Karen Sandness on 12/12/2019 - 09:27 am.

          So I assume that you are for free birth control?

          Much of the time–and I don’t know if this is the case for you–people who get all upset about poor people having children are against both birth control and abortion and want poor people to get married before having children. (Of course, with so many men from poor communities in prison, thanks to punitive attitudes about drug addiction, this would be possible only if polygamy were legalized.)

          I suppose the solution is for poor people to take vows of life-long virginity?

          Hormones overcome the best of intentions, as witnessed by the fact that the states with the most restrictive laws about birth control and abortion and the weakest social safety nets have the highest rates of out-of-wedlock births *and* abortions.

          • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 12/12/2019 - 05:45 pm.

            While I am well aware of the fact that almost half of the women having abortions were not using birth control (fortunately the State will no longer keep track of this), I really don’t mind if birth control is free. The ACA required everyone to have health insurance and that birth control was covered which should have meant almost a zero need for abortions, but this discussion is not about birth control. The thought that 25% of children are the result of failed birth control is certainly a unique perspective. Thank you for sharing.

  15. Submitted by Howard Miller on 12/10/2019 - 02:48 pm.

    Thank you, Grace Jennings, for adding a front line look at a disgraceful news story that should never happen in the USA

    EVERY child needs to eat, period. Make sure food is paid for in the school budgets, and feed every kid, NO EXCEPTIONS

    People who declare this a private parenting responsibility just don’t know how other Americans are scraping by in this US economy defined by obscene income inequality.

    • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 12/10/2019 - 05:02 pm.

      A big part of the reason that many people are just scraping by is because they bear children that they cannot afford. How does a CEO making millions every year have anything to do with the decision by many to have children that they have no chance of adequately taking care of?

      • Submitted by ian wade on 12/11/2019 - 01:19 pm.

        Sorry, Tom. But you folks don’t get to claim that moral high ground anymore. On this very site there’s a story about a woman that wanted to fill her prescription for a “morning after” pill so she can avoid the very thing that you’re proselytizing about. She was refused by two supposed professionals due to “religious convictions.”
        You can’t have it both ways.

        • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 12/12/2019 - 05:39 pm.

          I’m not sure what “both ways” are. Having children that you cannot afford is irresponsible. I suppose the other way is to not have children. I hope that the woman you cite tried a different pharmacy (instead of the same company) but I’m not sure that the story has anything to do with this discussion.

          • Submitted by ian wade on 12/15/2019 - 04:51 am.

            The story has everything to do with this discussion.Let me clear it up for you. The woman tried to avoid having an unwanted child. That’s called being responsible. She was refused by two different pharmacies and had to drive 50 miles in a snowstorm to have her prescription filled due to religious extremism and so called “conservative values.” My point is that conservatives can’t whine about responsibility when they themselves are stopping people from being responsible.

      • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 12/11/2019 - 06:51 pm.

        Don’t understand the point? Does this mean folks shouldn’t take out loans, buy stuff, run up credit cards etc. they can’t afford as well? Seems our governemnt is spending a lot more than it can afford, $T+ a year and these are the good times. Farmers are going bankrupt because they borrowed more than they could pay back. Murray coal just went belly up for the same reason, couldn’t pay back the loans. Maybe your point could be, sure would be nice if our baby producing age folks would take a more realistic view of how they are going to take care of and view their lives as they have kids. But then you get right back to the crux of the article, do you think the future generations would be more apt to be thinking and looking at those things if they had a better education and were treated better regardless if they had $1.25 in their lunch account?

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