A six-year-old girl was “shamed” into returning a plate of hot food at school – because she did not have enough money on her to pay for her £1.78 meal.
The furious family of Anya Howard say the schoolgirl was humiliated in front of laughing classmates.
Anya did not have enough money in her pre-pay lunch account to pay for her hot food.
She was ordered to give the tray back and go to the back of the queue, before she was instead served a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, WISTV reports.
Her grandfather said the family did not know her account was running low, and Southwest Elementary School in Indiana, in the US, does not allow pupils to run into arrears.
Anya said a group of around 20 children were “laughing” at her.
Grandad Dwight Howard told the network: “When she was talking to me about it, she was more than ‘sad’.
“I mean, that’s embarrassing for a little 6-year-old.”
And he added: “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.”
Anya brought home a note saying that children who could not pay for their meals would be served a sandwich instead.
But staff said such matters are usually dealt with “discreetly”.