What This Lunch Lady Did To Cayden Made His Parents Furious

 

The first time he’d seen it, he didn’t think it was a bruise on his son’s arm. However, when he started figuring out what it really was and how it got there, everything changed. Of course, the moment he realized what exactly was going on, he was distraught. Why is the school bullying their student so terribly? He decided he had to stand up for his son and took a photo to show others. Whoever thought this was a good idea should take responsibility for what happened to this boy.

Dad Saw Red When His Son Returned Home From School With A Weird Mark On His Arm

Dad Saw Red When His Son Returned Home From School With A Weird Mark On His Arm

She Did Her Research

Tara Chavez did her proper research on schools in her area of Phoenix before taking her son to Desert Cove Elementary School. Before making that decision, she thought about everything else, but it wasn’t something she took lightly.

She Did Her Research

She Did Her Research

Well-Being Of A Young Boy

Along with other things to keep in mind, she needed to consider things like cost and class size. After all, her number-one priority was the health and wellbeing of her son. He was a sweet child, and she needed to make sure he would be treated well.

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Well-Being Of A Young Boy

The School Sounded Perfect

Tara went to the school multiple times to attend open days. She thought it would be good for her son to go to Desert Cove Elementary School. And so, she finalized all the legal documents that she needed and enrolled her son.

The School Sounded Perfect

The School Sounded Perfect

Controversy

She didn’t have a way of knowing that it was a decision she would continue to lament after it had been said and done. This mother didn’t think it would have escalated into public outrage. Lots of parents decided to take action when they heard about her story.

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Controversy

Everything Was Going Well

It was almost as if everything was turning out well after an entire term as Desert Cove Elementary School. This made her husband feel confident that Cayden was doing well in school and that the school was the right fit for him.

Everything Was Going Well

Everything Was Going Well

School Ethos

The philosophy of the school got the parents’ attention, so they were convinced that it was a good choice for their little son. Other than that, their son liked and respected his teachers. However, soon it became clear to them that their son was dealing with a serious problem.

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School Ethos

He Went Home Upset

Another day passed, and Tara made her way to school to pick up Cayden. She immediately noticed something was off when she saw him. What was the problem? She couldn’t remember any of it or think of what happened.

He Went Home Upset

He Went Home Upset

Bad Behavior

Automatically, Tara assumed it must have been his fellow students or even the teacher. Maybe they were tormenting her son? She also realized that her son might just be a victim of bullying by this point.

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Bad Behavior

Concerned Mom

She took control of the situation and looked for a way to change his mood for the better, so Tara asked her son how his day went. Just like any other parent, this mother was eager to find out the root of the problem to fix it.

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Concerned Mom

The Mark On His Arm

Cayden responded with a curt “fine” and kept his eyes on the window of the car, staring out into the distance. Tara politely asked him if something happened at school. Even then, he refused to say anything else. By this point, it was obvious he didn’t want to talk about what was bothering him.

The Mark On His Arm

The Mark On His Arm

Driving Home

And so, Tara decided it would be best not to force him to talk about it when he clearly didn’t want to. She gave him a little space and the two agreed to talk about it more when they got home. From there, she caught a glimpse of a blue mark on his arm.

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Driving Home

He Was Branded

She craned her neck and tried getting a better look at her son’s arm. For a split second, she thought it was just some dirt. When she looked closer, however, she realized that was the case at all – it was something else.

He Was Branded

He Was Branded

What Did It Read?

Tara could only think of the possibility that the mark was connected to the reason her son was in a bad mood that day. All the same, she had to understand the whole story – not just a small part. As they say, a mother’s instinct is always correct.

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What Did It Read?

She Feared The Worst

This mom had a hint as to what was going on, but she wanted the full picture before she got home with her son. She had to keep her eyes on the road until they got home to their house. What would she do next?

She Feared The Worst

She Feared The Worst

Angry As A Raging Bull

Despite the fact that she didn’t bring it up again, Tara’s knuckles turned white from her tight grip on the wheel. She did this out of frustration. She hated seeing her son so upset. You can know how troubled the person behind all this would be. No one wants to mess with Tara.

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Angry As A Raging Bull

They Held A Family Meeting

As soon as they got home, Cayden went straight to his bed. Still, Tara promised he wouldn’t hide out without telling her the whole story. After that, she called her husband, took a chair out, and asked her son to sit down with them.

They Held A Family Meeting

They Held A Family Meeting

Perhaps It Was A Bruise

Her husband, Mark, pulled up his son’s jacket to take a look at what was on his arm. At first, he thought it was some kind of blister. However, it turned out to be ink. Did he write something on his arm? No, it had to be someone else.

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Perhaps It Was A Bruise

Written In Capital Letters

Cayden had two words written on his arm. In bold blue letters, the words said “LUNCH MONEY!” Why was this marked on the kid’s arm? Who would do this kind of thing? Especially for such a little boy.

Written In Capital Letters

Written In Capital Letters

The Lunch Lady

After that, Cayden told them the lunch lady put those words on his arm. It seems like she tried embarrassing the little boy in front of the entire classroom. The more the parents heard about this story, the more upset they became.

The Lunch Lady

The Lunch Lady

He Had No Choice

“I asked if the lunch lady gave him a choice, and he said, ‘No, she just grabbed my wrist and put the stamp on.’” When she was asking her son these questions, she was fighting back tears. She was so hurt that her son was treated this way in front of everyone.

He Had No Choice

He Had No Choice

Social Media

While Cayden still had enough money for his food, the lunch money on his account was running low. When Tara checked the account, there were still 75 cents in there. She was furious. Checking online, she looked into the matter further. Mark took a picture of the stamp and decided to post it online for people to see.

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Social Media

They Humiliated The Poor Boy

“He was screaming and crying the entire time,” the mother explained. “He was humiliated, didn’t even want me to take a picture of it.” Maybe the most concerning thing about all this was the fact that this boy had been humiliated at school in front of everyone.

They Humiliated The Poor Boy

They Humiliated The Poor Boy

Major Disaster

Of course, it made him feel bad, but he had done plenty of work on his self-esteem. For the most part, the school would send an alert to the parents by email when the lunch money account would be running low. Has the school ever had a problem with this phenomenon?

Major Disaster

Major Disaster

It Went Viral

Naturally, it wasn’t long before Mark’s post went viral all over the world. Well, we do live in a digital age. Eventually, the post got hundreds of views and shares. It was spreading like wildfire all over the internet.

It Went Viral

It Went Viral

Twitterverse

Practically all the parents who saw this post were supportive of the family and stood behind them. Tara was pleased to see she and her family weren’t alone in this. One of her friends said of the school: “Like, y’all couldn’t send a note?”

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Twitterverse

Comments Kept Coming

She kept on, saying, “Y’all could not think for two seconds about the numerous references of branding someone as a stigma?” If you ask us, she made a very good point. Sending a note is a much more logical thing to do in this case.

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Comments Kept Coming

Other Kids With Similar Experiences

“What kind of twisted person holds a child’s arm & applies a big, block-lettered stamp in black ink to their little arm?!!” Another commenter said. The majority of people who read the story said the stamp was “unacceptable”.

Other Kids With Similar Experiences

Other Kids With Similar Experiences

Loads Of Notifications

Another parent replied with an absolutely furious message saying, “If a kid’s parents don’t have any money to deposit to the child’s account … do they just keep stamping the child every day? Seriously.”

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Loads Of Notifications

The School Responds

Regardless of what the school would have to say on the matter, it wasn’t long before they responded to all the negative attention they were getting. Tara received an email from the school rather quickly. What would they say?

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The School Responds

They Denied The Claims

Stacey Orset, the principal of Desert Cove Elementary School, said that the staff had no intention of shaming children with “reminder stamps publicly”. She also described in detail to Tara that the cafeteria workers were “supposed to ask them if they want a stamp or a reminder slip”.

They Denied The Claims

They Denied The Claims

Unhappy Parents’

Still, Tara wasn’t happy with the explanation the school gave her. Every other parent who was looking into the story or reading about it decided that it would be right to abolish the “reminder” stamps. It wasn’t right to do.

Unhappy Parents'

Unhappy Parents’

The Official Statement

After that, the school district put out a public statement about the incident. Becky Kelbaugh, the Paradise Valley Unified School District spokeswoman said, “It was never the intention of Desert Cove Elementary School administration and staff to embarrass any student by using the stamp.”

The Official Statement

The Official Statement

It Was Not The First Time

She continued by saying, “Students were given a choice between a letter or reminder stamp. Going forward, Desert Cove Elementary School will send a letter before going home to notify the parents of low lunch balances.”

It Was Not The First Time

It Was Not The First Time

Phoenix New Times

In addition to that, she told the Phoenix New Times that the elementary school would immediately stop using the “reminder stamps”. We’re happy to hear that this won’t be done anymore from that point. With that said, the fact is that this isn’t the first time this happened.

Phoenix New Times

Phoenix New Times

It Made His Blood Boil

Jon Bivens has a son who’s in third-grade and attends the Gardendale Elementary School. Something very similar happened to him and his family, not too long before this unfortunate incident. The little boy came home one day with something similar on his back. What happened this time?

It Made His Blood Boil

It Made His Blood Boil

Surprised

This dad said he didn’t think much of it at first. “I thought it was a good job stamp,” he said, explaining his indifference. Realizing what stamp it really was, he saw the words: “I need lunch money.” Jon was surprised.

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Surprised

No Justification For This

Jon and his wife give their kid lunches for school every day, but they let him buy a snack at the cafeteria every now and again. Something genuinely infuriated Jon. Wait till you see what it was that caused this reaction.

No Justification For This

No Justification For This

Not Acceptable

Jon and his wife make sure to pack their son lunch for school every day. Aside from that, they allow him to buy some snacks sometimes at the school cafeteria. However, something seriously infuriated Jon.

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The Ethics Of This Practice

“They herd these kids like cattle,” the father said angrily. His son was “branded” by the school. He said that “When you start stamping a message on a child’s body instead of calling…it’s just not okay.”

The Ethics Of This Practice

The Ethics Of This Practice

Bullying

He kept talking, explaining his opinion in a question and answer, saying that “It’s a form of bullying and shaming the kids.” Wouldn’t you say that it would be too hard to enforce a “branding” system in cafeterias?

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Bullying

Greatly Humiliating

Desert Cove is a generally affluent school – only 32% of the kids are qualified to apply for free or low-cost meals there. And so, it can be possible to assume that singling out students with low account balances could be quite traumatic for them.

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Greatly Humiliating

‘Lunch Shaming’

It’s not an excuse for the way “lunch shaming” can lead students to miss meals altogether. This, in turn, reduces their academic success and also makes them more likely to repeat a degree or need guidance in mental health.

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Lunch Shaming

Deeply Apologetic

Eventually, Desert Cove Elementary School released a message that said, “It was never the intention of administration and staff to embarrass any student by using the stamp”. They’ve been very apologetic about the whole ordeal.

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Deeply Apologetic

Many Years Before

Despite the fact that it was a device that’s been in use for many years, they announced that from that moment on, the school would avoid using the “stamping method”. Instead, they would interact with the parents themselves.

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