Rep. Robert Lancia (R-Dist. 16, Cranston) will introduce legislation to prevent the disturbing trend known as “lunch shaming” in Rhode Island public schools.

Rep. Lancia’s bill would prevent schools from taking back a meal or forcing students to perform chores if they cannot pay. It would also require that schools send a letter to the parent or guardian of a student about the outstanding balance rather than forcing them to wear a wristband or stamp. 

“Schools are supposed to provide a safe and welcoming environment for every student but these sort of policies do the opposite. This bill will ensure that no child will go hungry at school simply because they cannot pay,” stated Rep. Lancia.

The bill comes after an alleged incident in West Warwick when a student had their lunch thrown away because they did not have enough money in their lunch account. A number of other states and congress have considered similar legislation to prevent schools from taking away food from children because they lack the funds to pay for it.