6-Year-Old ‘Lunch Shamed’ By School, Family Demands A Change In School Policy

The poor girl felt sad because not only was she denied food, she was denied food in front of her classmates who eventually began laughing at her.


An unpleasant incident that took place at the Southwest Elementary School made family of a 6-year-old ask for the school policy to be changed. 

Namely, little Anya Howard was about to have her lunch at the school cafeteria when the employees noticed they couldn’t charge those $2.25 from her school account. That’s when they asked her to return the tray with food and told her to go at the back of the line and wait for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. 

Doing so, it made some classmates laugh at her face, saying she was poor and couldn’t afford her lunch. This made Anya sad and ashamed. It was her grandfather Dwight Howard who told the story. He also urges the district administration to review the cafeteria policies and make changes that would help avoid such unpleasant and humiliating situations in the future. 

“When she was talking to me about it, she was more than ‘sad,’” he told WFLA.

“I mean, that’s embarrassing for a little 6-year-old.”

The school sent a note saying how the girl’s cafeteria credit was $0.10, but they didn’t bother to inform the parents on the matter earlier. 

“They waited until there was a dime left, denied her the opportunity to eat the lunch that she had [been served and tried to pay for] and then she had to go to the end of the line to wait for a PB&J,” Dwight said.

The Greenwood Community Schools superintendent, Dr. Kent DeKoninck, emailed a statement to News 8:

“It is not an uncommon occurrence 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… We do allow elementary students to charge two hot meals before receiving the alternate meal.”

He didn’t want to add any additional comments on the case, as he said Anya’s family didn’t contact them directly.