Food For Thought-less Students

, , , , , | Learning | May 15, 2019

(I live with my very poor, but caring family. My dad has recently been sent to the hospital after spraining his foot and my mom is still being affected by the aftereffects of her stroke and is usually bedridden. We are so tight on money that we have to skip dinner sometimes. There is a boy that is not very well-liked by anyone at our school, and for some reason, he just seems to hate me. I’m hanging out with my friends at lunch.)

Bully: “Hey, [My Name], you have food?”

(Due to our family’s status as low-income, I receive free school lunches. I should also mention that the bully is extremely spoiled and wealthy.)

Me: “Yeah, but this is the only food I have for the day, so I can’t really share.”

Bully: *sulks away*

(I think nothing of it, since he usually acts this way, until the office calls me up. I’m confused and go up to see the vice principal. The bully is sitting there in the office with a smug grin.)

Vice Principal: “Now, [My Name], do you know why you’re here?”

Me: “Uh, no.”

Bully: “Yeah, you do.”

Vice Principal: *gestures at the bully to calm down* “Well, your friend here was telling me about how you were bullying and physically harassing him.”

(I know this is because the bully is mad at me because I didn’t give him half of my burrito.)

Me: “What did I do?”

Vice Principal: *raises an eyebrow* “Well, you see, [Bully] here told me that you threw a penny into his eye. I know this might sound really petty, but that is still considered assault and can result in punishment by the law.”

(I’m pretty scared at this point. I’m 14 and stressed out, and I don’t want anything to do with this. We talk some more, and the VP sends me outside to talk with the bully, then sends him outside so he can talk to me. I sit down.)

Vice Principal: “Now, I want you to confirm anything that you feel is true. He says he asked you for some food, and you then threw a penny into his eye. Is that true?

Me: “What? No! I got my lunch, sat with my friend, and started eating until he said that he wanted food. I told him I couldn’t afford any food for the day and he just left.”

Vice Principal: “Wait, didn’t your dad just get sent to the hospital?”

Me: “Yeah, and the stroke is still hitting my mom pretty hard. We sometimes skip dinner just so we can save enough money.”

Vice Principal: “How often does this happen a week?”

Me: “Where he asks me for money or food, or if I skip—“

Vice Principal: “Both.”

Me: “He asks me just about every single day, and I’d say maybe three or four dinners?”

Vice Principal: “All right, call in [Bully].”

Bully: “So, did you decide on the punishment for her yet?”

Vice Principal: “Yes. Her punishment is to receive more school lunches.”

Bully: “Wait, what?”

Vice Principal: “Is it true you ask her for food every day?”

Bully: “I guess?”

Vice Principal: “You guess? Did it ever occur to you that the only reason she doesn’t give you food is that she can’t?”

Bully: “What do you mean?”

Vice Principal:Both of her parents are currently in the hospital. She doesn’t get to eat dinner half the week. Her school lunch is her only source of food, and you are asking me to tell her off for not giving any to you?”

Bully: “What does have to do with her throwing s*** at me?”

Vice Principal: “No, she didn’t. We have cameras, and she did nothing of the sort. What we did catch was you insulting her.”

Bully: *sulking*

Vice Principal: “You will be staying a minimum of 40 yards away from her. You won’t talk to her, nor will you look at her. You will also be receiving two weeks’ worth of lunch detention for lying to me, lying about a situation, lying to get another student in trouble, attempted theft, and harassment. Get out of my office.”

Bully: *stomps off*

Vice Principal: “Listen, [My Name]. If anybody ever bothers you again over food or the likes, you just talk to me and I’ll do my best to support you, clear?”

Me: “Yeah. Thanks, [Vice Principal].”

(My father and mother both got out of the hospital a couple of weeks later and everything in our family is slowly coming back to our old standards. The bully was suspended when he tried to punch a boy when he asked for free food and the boy said no. Thanks to the Vice Principal for supporting me against that bully!)

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