WELLINGTON, Ohio (WKYC) — Officials at Wellington Exempted Village Schools are investigating after they say a cafeteria employee took a lunch away from a middle school student for having a negative balance.
In an email to WKYC, Superintendent Edward Weber says the actions taken by the cafeteria worker are against school policy.
Weber says he ate lunch with the student on Thursday and apologized on behalf of the district, adding that the staff member will be held accountable after the investigation is complete.
The district shared its school meal charge policy with WKYC:
"We understand that emergencies occur and a child can leave without having lunch or lunch money on their account. The food service department will take care of your child/children’s needs when this happens. Please understand we must comply with state and federal guidelines and must maintain a system for accounting for charged meals for both reduced and full paid students.
Students can charge up to $20.00 towards a full meal. Students with negative balances cannot purchase ala carte items until the balance is no longer negative. This includes students who have negative balances and wish to purchase ala carte items with cash. The cash will be used to pay off their negative balance and they will not receive the ala carte item. In addition, students may not charge ala carte items. This includes extra sandwiches, snack foods and beverages to include milk.
There is no charging at the middle and high school levels past the -$20.00."