Recently, in a Maryland suburb, a high school baseball team competed against players from a wealthier suburb nearby. A mother was happily chanting for her son’s team when she heard the “cheers” of the other team, issued by both adults and kids. “They chanted: ‘Lower average income! Lower average income!’” said the mother, Jodi Jacobson. The taunts continued: “Can’t your parents afford to feed you? Can we call child protective services?” At another game, players sang “That’s all right, that’s OK! You will work for us someday!”
“It was disgusting,” Jacobson concluded. “I was astounded at the crude and cruel things said by the people in the stands”.
Echoing this episode, school bullying over social class has found an even crueler iteration in “lunch-shaming”: children being humiliated for not having enough money to pay for their public school lunches.
When parents have failed to pay, in some states children’s little arms have been stamped with the phrase “lunch money”. In others, milk cartons have been taken from their hands and their hot food dumped in the garbage in front of their classmates.
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This is one of the most disgusting things I have ever read.
Is this what the USA has become - a nation of selfish, hateful haves and have-nots?