What’s Hard to Explain to Children

There has to be a better way to handle this:

When Amanda Keown received a call at work from her son, a junior at Dowagiac Union High School in Dowagiac, MI, telling her that he had not received his hot lunch because of an outstanding balance of $4.95 she took matters into her own hands. Keown not only fixed her son’s lunch balance, but every single outstanding balance in the school to ensure that no other child is forced to go hungry because of an atrocious school action.

Her son, Dominic Gant, offered to pay $2 of the $2.45 tab that day with money he had on him and bring the remainder in the following day, but the $00.45 shortage was too much for school officials, who threw his lunch into the trash. Not only was Dominic humiliated in front of his friends, but he was publicly shames when his name was posted–along with all others who owed money–on a list in the cafeteria.

“I was very angry to the point I was sick to my stomach,” Keown said. She paid the outstanding balance, then wrote a check totaling $204.95 to cover Dominic’s balance along with the 19 teenagers named. She didn’t stop there, however.

For $200, or roughly what a CEO blows at Starbucks, a list of kids gets posted on a wall so everybody can see THEY POOR YO. I don’t know what to do, when this is the world. I don’t understand what we’re supposed to do with this.

I was watching Twitter when Michael Sam got drafted, and as usual the Internet Stupid Brigade got on board with HOW DO WE EXPLAIN THE GAY TO OUR CHILDREN, and this was my favorite response:

You know what I think is hard to explain to children? Why the kid at the next lunch table has money for his lunch, when your kid doesn’t. Why the kid at the next lunch table doesn’t have money for his lunch, when yours does. How do you explain that?

“Well, son, his dad just doesn’t work as hard as yours does.”

“That’s not his kid’s fault.”

“Shut up and eat your pizza melt.”

How do you explain that the other kid’s dad got laid off because his company moved all the jobs to Mexico, the CEO took a buyout and everybody in accounting got screwed, his position was made redundant when somebody’s cousin needed a job more, and them’s just the breaks? How do you explain that, ten minutes after you get done explaining how it’s important to work hard on your homework because hard work makes you successful? How do you keep a straight face?

Explain that deep mystery of parenting. Explain why, in the richest country in the world, in a “Christian” nation, it is acceptable to publicly humiliate children for their want of $10 each. Explain how we got so paranoid and so zero-tolerant and so eager to punish. Explain how we got so goddamn small, and so unworthy of ourselves.

I’d rather deconstruct every sex act in the history of the planet for the edification of the nearest kindergarten class than have to tell those kids why they couldn’t EAT today.

A.