Parents upset over alleged lunch shaming in Fergus Falls schools

Fargo, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Dave Axel is a Minnesota grandfather, who contacted our Whistleblower Hotline after picking up his granddaughter who was upset because she was stamped in the lunch line.

"She had ten dollars in her account and they stamped her hand with the green stamp no note sent home no phone calls no emails ," said Axel.

The stamp, he said, was big green dollar sign. Axel says his granddaughter immediately went to the restroom to wash it off because she was embarrassed. The ink was very strong though.

"She wasn't able to get it off," said Axel.

A Fergus Falls school official says this approach was suggested by parents.....and that parents who don't agree with it can opt out.

"You've got to keep in mind at the elementary level many kids don't understand the difference between that its actually shaming," said Mark Masten, business manager of Fergus Falls public school district.

Axel worries about the well being of his granddaughter as well as others and how this could lead to bullying.

"You just dont' know how they're going to react, or what the interaction is with that stamp and the way they think," said Axel.

"If there is more bullying going on we would certainly stop the program," said Masten

Masten adds that this policy has been in place for a long time in the Fergus falls school district.

"The child goes through the line without knowledge that there is money in their account or not, all they would know is that their hand was stamped, its a message for mom and dad about lunch money," said Masten.

Not that simple, according to Axel and to many other parents across the country, who are letting their school officials know that any form of lunch shaming is unacceptable.

To hear that your child or one of your relatives is running around in the school all day long and they got that dollar sign on their hand, I think its such a stigma," said Axel.

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