You guys already know I've got a bug up my butt about personal responsibility. This week's story really takes the cake.
Or should I say cheese sandwich?
The Chula Vista school district is the largest elementary school district in California and serves about 18,000 meals a day.
In 2004, the district had a parental lunch debt on the books to the tune of $300,000. They had to find a way to control the rising costs before it started to effect their budgets on equipment and books, because deadbeat parents had no incentive to pay.
Enter the cheese sandwich. The district decided that the children whose parents owed a lunch debt would get only one choice at lunch.
If you guessed it wasn't pizza or burgers, you'd be correct. It was cheese on whole wheat.
And it worked. In 2006, the lunch debt was decreased to $67,000.
But the deadbeat parents are angry about the "sandwich of shame". One girl cried when she couldn't have macaroni and cheese. Another hid in the bathroom to avoid getting one. A boy was upset when a cafeteria worker took away his pizza and told him to pick a sandwich instead.
“The kid was humiliated,” said his father.
Well whose fault is that, ya bonehead? The school district's? Seriously?
Other districts across the nation have implemented similar measures. One district in North Carolina used peanut butter and jelly as their alternative meal, but that didn't seem to work very well. PB & J is usually the meal of choice in that age group. ;-)