logo
youtube.com/WISH-TV
Source: youtube.com/WISH-TV

Little Girl Is Mocked for Not Having Money for Hot Food, Her Grandpa Can't Withhold His Anger

Stephen Thompson
Jul 10, 2022
07:30 A.M.
Share this pen
FacebookFacebookTwitterTwitterLinkedInLinkedInEmailEmail

Anya Howard had gone to the cafeteria to get her lunch like always, and everything seemed fine until she was asked to return her food tray and move to the back of the line.

Advertisement

On May 10, 2019, a six-year-old kindergarten student, Anya Howard, in Greenwood, Indiana, went to the school cafeteria to get her lunch as she always does.

The little girl asked for a hot meal which was served to her, but when Anya tried to pay for it, the cafeteria aide discovered she did not have enough money in her student account to pay for the meal.

Anya Howard speaking in an interview | Source: Youtube/ WISH-TV

Anya Howard speaking in an interview | Source: Youtube/ WISH-TV

Advertisement

The aide instructed Anya to return her tray of a $2.25 hot meal before subsequently asking her to return to the back of the lunch queue and wait for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

The Southwest Elementary student had to walk past 20 other students to get to the back of the line. The students knew what had happened and when Anya got to the back of the line, she saw them laughing at her.

When Anya got home that Friday, she narrated the incident to her grandfather, including how sad she felt when the students laughed at her. The school also gave a note home to inform her parents that her account only had just $0.10.

Advertisement
Anya Howard walking out of her home | Source: Youtube/ WISH-TV

Anya Howard walking out of her home | Source: Youtube/ WISH-TV

ANYA'S GRANDFATHER SPEAKS

After Anya's cafeteria incident, her grandfather Dwight Howard, a former teacher, challenged the school for embarrassing his granddaughter and making her take a "cafeteria walk of shame," which was unnecessary and humiliating.

Advertisement

Dwight claimed the embarrassing situation was all the school's fault because they failed to notify the family that Anya's balance had dropped to10 cents.

Anya's grandfather Dwight Howard speaking in an interview | Source: Youtube/ WISH-TV

Anya's grandfather Dwight Howard speaking in an interview | Source: Youtube/ WISH-TV

Advertisement

According to the policy, they were obliged to send payment reminders whenever an account hits a $5 balance; in Anya's case, Dwight said the school did not. Instead, they allegedly waited until it was too late and then embarrassed the little girl.

Dwight explained that Anya was very sad when she talked about the incident because it was undoubtedly embarrassing for a six-year-old to experience that. The former teacher then called on the district administrators to review the cafeteria policies to avoid this kind of incident happening in the future.

Anya and her grandfather Dwight Howard speaking in an interview | Source: Youtube/ WISH-TV

Anya and her grandfather Dwight Howard speaking in an interview | Source: Youtube/ WISH-TV

Advertisement

THE SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS REPLY

The cafeteria incident involving Anya became a huge issue after her grandfather came out to speak to WISH-TV about it and how he wanted the policy changed.

Afterward, Kent Dekoninck, the Greenwood Community Schools superintendent, spoke to the TV channel. He clarified that the district protocol is to inform a student's family when an account balance is $5. He also explained that Anya getting peanut butter and jelly as an alternative meal was not a new thing. Kent Dekonick clarified:

"It is not uncommon for multiple students to be served the alternate lunch on any given day. Any time this happens, our staff looks to handle all of these as discreetly as possible."

Advertisement
The Greenwood Community Schools building |  Source: Youtube/ WISH-TV

The Greenwood Community Schools building | Source: Youtube/ WISH-TV

He further explained that they allow elementary students to charge for two hot meals before they receive the alternate meal. However, contrary to the superintendent's explanation, the school declared in the note Anya took home that they would not allow students to charge for any meals. The note read:

Advertisement

"Starting Monday, 5/13/2019, we are no longer allowing any Café accounts to go into the negative. If there is not enough money in your child's account to cover the entire meal, they will be receiving a peanut butter sandwich and a milk."

Meanwhile, Dekonick revealed that Anya's family had not contacted the administrators directly regarding the situation. He also refused to comment on specifics regarding their complaints. The principal of Southwest Elementary, the specific school in question, also did not immediately respond to calls or emails requesting comments.

Anya's grandfather Dwight Howard displaying the school cafteria payment reminder document in an interview | Source: Youtube/ WISH-TV

Anya's grandfather Dwight Howard displaying the school cafteria payment reminder document in an interview | Source: Youtube/ WISH-TV

Advertisement

Sadly the issue of students having to go through the humiliating "walk of shame" is not a new concept. Before the incident involving Anya, something similar happened in Rhode Island. A school district came under fire for serving students cold sun butter and jelly sandwiches because they owed money.

This incident sparked rage in many people who pointed out the shame students whose families struggle financially would face. However, after a nationwide outrage and backlash, the policy was canceled.

Anya's grandfather Dwight Howard displaying the school cafeteria policy document in an interview | Source: Youtube/ WISH-TV

Anya's grandfather Dwight Howard displaying the school cafeteria policy document in an interview | Source: Youtube/ WISH-TV

Advertisement

In a world where we are constantly preaching about the dangers of bullies and the effects of being bullied, it is so hard to see what students are going through in the hands of schools to get meals.

The concept of alternate meals is undoubtedly embarrassing, and considering how they are presented to students, something has to change.

Kids should not be subjected to any form of humiliation; the concept of alternate meals seems to have that effect on them and should be altered.

Do you think the school workers were right to address Anya's issue the way they did? Also, what would you do if you were Anya's parents or grandparents?

Please share this story so that people know the dangers specific school policies pose to their wards and how these issues can affect kids.

Advertisement
info
Please fill in your e-mail so we can share with you our top stories!
By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy
Advertisement
Related posts

Boy on Walker Gets Injured on School Staircase - Mom Finds Out the Same Day

April 28, 2022

Poor Girl Says Old School Teacher Is ‘Horrible,' Secretly Records Him to Have Him Fired

April 16, 2022

Rich School Boy Notices His Teacher Visits Abandoned House after Class and Decides to Follow Her – Story of the Day

May 06, 2022

Students Make Elderly Teacher Cry Tears of Joy as She Enters Classroom after Husband’s Death — Story of the Day

June 30, 2022