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Parent says daughter got denied lunch at school for being short 25 cents

By Bianca Rae, CBS Local 2 Anchor & Reporter, brae@kesq.com
Published On: Mar 11 2014 08:00:00 PM CDT

Parent says daughter was denied lunch at school for being short  25 cents. Bianca Rae reports. 

INDIO, Calif. -

Debra Doran has her hands full with three kids and a job, so having her sons and daughter buy lunch at school is the easiest option.

"It's usually about $2.75 and I give them a check every two weeks. Sometimes they spend over the amount I gave them, and she was short a quarter and they refused to give my daughter lunch," Doran said.
    
This didn't just happen once at Shadow Hills High School in Indio.

"She comes home, hasn't eaten since breakfast and sometimes they are here until three or four in the afternoon," she said.

It happened a few times. So, Debra talked to Desert Sands Unified School District.

"They said it's a policy that high school students don't have any leeway because they are responsible and old enough to have money," Doran stated.

Debra said this should change.  We asked the district why students could get denied food if they cannot afford it. The district said it's working with Debra and plans to create a new policy, but wouldn't tell us more than that. Debra urges parents in similar situations to continue to contact their school district - as she has done since December. You can't get help if you don't ask.

"I talked to a new supervisor who just started in January, she has given my daughter and son permission to have a credit on their books. Yesterday she asked to have them go through the line without paying and see if they gave her food, they were notified to do that. So she got food without paying," she said.

We talked to Palm Springs Unified School District about their policy, and found out all those apply and who qualify for free or reduced lunch get it. The nutritional services supervisor is back in town Wednesday.

KESQ & CBS Local 2 will continue to follow this story and find out when exactly this new plan will be enacted.