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School Trashes Boy's Meal Over 30 Cents

DICKINSON (CBSDFW.COM) - A middle school near Houston has come under fire after a child's breakfast was tossed in the trash, all because he did not have the 30 cents needed to pay for the meal. Jennifer Castilleja's son is a sixth-grader at Barber Middle School in the Dickinson Independent School District, located southeast of Houston.

The boy uses an account to pay for his school meals. His mom deposits money into that account. But earlier this week, the account was empty. "My son called me and told me if I can bring him some money, because they took his breakfast from him and he needed money for breakfast," Castilleja told KTRK-TV in Houston.

The school would not give the child his food until his mother arrived and paid for the meal. "I said, 'Well, I'm on my way. I'll pay for it.' And she said no, I would have to bring some money before he could have breakfast," the mother continued.

Although the breakfast only cost 30 cents, the cafeteria server threw the food into the trash and sent the 12-year-old boy to class.

"There was kids all around him," Castilleja told the Houston TV station. "I think he may have been a little embarrassed and upset and of course hungry."

KTRK-TV spoke to the school district, which stook by its policy. "Dickinson ISD's procedure is that we do not allow student charges for breakfast. Many school districts follow this same procedure. Students get a verbal warnings to let parents know once the account starts getting low," the district said. "Written warnings are sent home to parents before money runs out."

Castilleja admits that her son forgot to pass along that verbal warning, and that she forgot to add more funds to her son's account. Still, she thinks that the policy should be changed. "Anything than send them to class hungry," she said.

The mother did bring her son a breakfast that morning, along with some money for his lunch.

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