In an interview published by The Daily Camera on Monday, Roni revealed for the first time that her disagreement with the school was over a practice of stamping children’s hands if they did not have enough money in their account to pay for lunch or even if they were eligible for free lunches.
“As soon as I saw it happening, I was like, ‘No, this is not OK,'” Roni said. “The students felt so humiliated, like they had done something wrong. They didn’t want to go into the lunchroom any more. It’s unethical and disrespectful.”
A memo from Roni’s lawyer explained that Roni had asked cafeteria workers to stop stamping the hands of children who couldn’t afford lunch once she discovered the practice. After cafeteria workers continued stamping children’s hands, Roni met with the food services manager and other school leaders.
According to the memo, everyone agreed that the stamping practice should stop and the food services manager resigned. But only three weeks later, Roni was contacted by a grantparent, Evelyn Bernstein, who was upset that her grandchildren were getting their hand stamped, even though they qualified for free lunches.
I have a question.
Can we stamp the outsides of buildings in TIF districts?
Can we stamp the hands of CEOs whose companies received taxpayer-subsidized bailouts?
Can we hang banners on every Target, Jewel, or CVS lured to a community with the promise of relief from property taxes?
Banners that say CAN’T AFFORD TO DO BUSINESS WITHOUT HANDOUTS?
Banners that say DEPENDENT ON GOVERNMENT?
Banners that say FREELOADER? LAZY BUM? LEECH ON SOCIETY?
Can we make sure that everyone sees how they operate, how they don’t work, how they milk the system, how they’re lazy, how they don’t deserve our help? Can we mark them somehow, so that the other businesses, the other business owners, can laugh at them and point?
Or get righteously angry, because where is their bailout, their TIF district, their waiver, their subsidy? And call the benefits recipients out in meetings, on comment boards, in petty gossip over the diner counter every day?
Can we do that?
Because if we can’t, if we won’t, if we think that’s just mean, if we think that’s unfair, we have no earthly goddamn fucking business marking the hands of poor children to … what, convince them to be less poor? Get them to make their parents wealthy by, I don’t know, magic? I know, to make them STARVE, because kids are serious, and proud, and you hang a sign on them that says that you are less than, well, they’d rather skip what might be the only hot meal of their entire day than walk past their peers wearing their shame on their skin.
How dare we. How dare anyone.
The city will reimburse Wal-Mart $1.6 million for up-front land acquisition costs and about $500,000 for storm water retention improvements with sales tax increment financing payments over approximately three and a half years. The Supercenter is replacing a Wal-Mart discount store that currently accounts for one-fifth of all retail sales in the city. Lafayette offered even more incentives to Wal-Mart to rehab the site of the discount store, but Wal-Mart refused.
We won’t put a sign up in the grass in front of this store, that says TOOK GOVERNMENT MONEY. But we will ask seven- and eight-year-olds to be publicly identified by their own powerlessness, to carry the weight of needing something their families couldn’t provide, of needing to show that to everyone every day.