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Student's breakfast trashed for 30-cent shortage

DICKINSON, TX (KTRK) -- A 12-year-old Dickinson student's breakfast was tossed in the trash, because his account was short by just 30 cents. His mother is upset, so we went to the school district to ask questions about their policy -- one they say they stand by. Jennifer Castilleja had to make an extra trip to her son's middle school in Dickinson Wednesday morning. She said, "My son called me and asked me if I could bring him some money because they took his breakfast from him and he needed money for breakfast." Her son, a sixth grader at Barber Middle School in Dickinson ISD is on reduced meals. He pays for his meals from an account that his mother deposits money into, but it was empty. "I said, 'Well, I'm on my way, I'll pay for it,'" Castilleja recalled. "And she said no, I would have to bring some money before he could have breakfast." The reduced breakfast only cost 30 cents, but the cafeteria server went ahead and threw the boy's breakfast away and sent him to class. Castilleja said, "There were kids all around him. I think he may have been a little embarrassed and upset and, of course, hungry." We spoke with Dickinson ISD and they said it's a policy they stand by. "Dickinson ISD's procedure is that we do not allow student charges for breakfast. Many school districts follow this same procedure. Students get verbal warnings to let parents know once the account starts getting low. Written warnings are sent home to parents before money runs out." Castilleja admits either her son forgot to relay the verbal warning or she forgot to replenish his account. Either way, she feels the policy should allow for breakfast charges that can be repaid. "Or telling the child, we are going to feed you, but go to the office and call your parent and let them know that you need money," Castilleja suggested. "Anything than sending them to class hungry." There's no word if Dickinson ISD plans to amend the breakfast policy. Castilleja took breakfast to her son and money for lunch.


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