A Utah school is under scrutiny after cafeteria staff binned the lunches of forty elementary children. According to an article in Think Progress, the students had fallen behind on lunch payments at Uintah Elementary, in Salt Lake City.
Many parents said they weren't even aware they were in arrears, though school officials claimed they made phone calls days before to inform families of the debts owing.
Instead of withholding the lunches in the first place, cafeteria workers served lunches then removed them from certain children, giving them milk and a piece of fruit in lieu.
“So she took my lunch away and said, ‘Go get a milk,’” said a fifth-grader named Sophia. “I came back and asked, ‘What’s going on?’ Then she handed me an orange. She said, ‘You don’t have any money in your account, so you can’t get lunch.’”
Though the school district has since apologized for their actions, parents are fuming over the “traumatic and humiliating” incident. Apparently, this sort of thing has happened before to low-income families—with one Texas student missing out on lunch because he was thirty cents short.
This story leaves a bad taste in my mouth for so many reasons, not least of which because all children deserve to eat—period. Children who don't eat, don't learn. And children who don't learn, don't thrive. It's that simple.
I recently volunteered in my son's classroom and made him share his snack with a boy who had none. I made sure he got to sit and eat with his friends, then sent him to drink from the fountain. It defies belief that school staff could be so heartless to try to teach parents a fiscal lesson by depriving children of a basic human need.
How should schools deal with lunch financing? Discuss.
Read another recent school-related incident that left us shaking our heads.
Health Canada, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (US CPSC), and Fred & Friends have jointly recalled the above pacifiers with the following models/UPC:
Components of the Chill Baby Artiste pacifier and the Chill Baby Volume pacifier can detach, posing a choking hazard to infants, while the Baby Chill Volume and Baby Chill Panic Button pacifiers have ventilation holes that are too small.
While there have been no incidents or injurires reported in Canada, Fred & Friends has received one report of a part on the Baby Chill Volume pacifier detaching.
Customers are advised to immediately remove the pacifiers from infants, and return them to Fred & Friends for a $12 USD refund.
Customers may contact Fred & Friends toll-free at 1-855-346-6372—from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday—by email, or via the company's website to obtain a pre-paid envelope to return the recalled pacifiers.
From April 2013 to December 2013, approximately 17,136 of the pacifiers were sold at various retailers in Canada, and 183,000 were imported in the United States.
More recent recalls.
Those wee Super Bowl ads are among the most lucrative on TV (with a measly 30-second slot costing $4 million!). Unfortunately, those seconds also happen to be among the most sexist. But you have the power to change that.
According to an article in Forbes, women account for nearly half of the viewers of the football championship, so it makes sense that advertisers start thinking beyond "portraying women as barely sentient objects attached to breasts" to sell their products.
Non-profit, The Representation Project, has launched a new crowdfunded app—Not Buying It, aimed at calling out the most sexist Super Bowl ads.
At the press of a button, viewers will be able to name and shame brands whose offensive ads appear on television, magazines, and even on billboards.
We have GoDaddy to thank for the genesis of #NotBuyingIt, after some 7,500 took to Twitter to complain about the company's ad.
The Representation Project already has one win under its belt. After last year's fiasco, the domain giant got in touch and vowed not to "use sexualized images of women this year.”
It's high time companies learn that though sex itself may sell, sexism is bad for business.
Of course, the surefire way to ensure an ad's success is to ban it, as SodaStream discovered, when its ad starring Scarlet Johansson was axed in advance of the Super Bowl.
Sultry may be Johansson's middle name, yet that's not the reason the original ad was pulled. Instead, it was because the actress uttered the words Coke and Pepsi.
A modified version of the ad—which carefully cuts out the names of Soda's competitors—is slated to appear during the Super Bowl. Ah, politics!
Planning to watch the Super Bowl? Get the Not Buying It app first.