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Elementary school student given detention for sharing lunch with a friend

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Kyle Bradford, 13, received detention after giving a friend part of his lunch on Sept. 16, 2014, at Weaverville Elementary School in California. (Credit: KRCR-TV)

WEAVERVILLE, Calif. — An eighth grader in Northern California allegedly received detention after offering a fellow student some of his lunch.

Weaverville Elementary School student Kyle Bradford, 13, gave a friend some of his chicken burrito on Tuesday because the student didn’t like the cheese sandwich being served by cafeteria officials that day.

“It seemed like he couldn’t get one, a normal lunch, so I just wanted to give mine to him because I really wasn’t that hungry. It was just going to go in the garbage if I didn’t eat it,” Bradford told CNN.

Although Bradford’s mother said he should not have been punished for being compassionate, he received detention.

“By all means the school can teach them math and the arithmetic and physical education, but when it comes to morals and manners and compassion, I believe it needs to start at home with the parent,” Sandy Bradford told KRCR-TV.

The school has a policy that prohibits students from exchanging meals in an effort to avoid issues with allergies, according to officials with Trinity Alps Unified School District, which includes Weaverville Elementary School.

“Of course if students are concerned about other students not having enough to eat we would definitely want to consider that, but because of safety and liability we cannot allow students to actually exchange meals,” district Superintendent Tom Barnett told CNN.

Bradford said he would share his lunch again if a friend asked him to, CNN reported.

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28 comments

  • hikerhelper

    Another example of policy over people? Have our local schools become so institutionalized that in house authorities and administrators are unable or unwilling to contextualize these situations? It seems like an instructive word of caution would have been sufficient, although it’s easier to hide behind “policy.”

    • CG

      Why? For enforcing a basic rule? For teaching children what most of them would not learn if it was left up to the parents? Let’s face it. Most parents don’t want to put the effort into educating their children. School (for many parents) is free daycare, free breakfast and lunch, and a basic education… and in exchange their children must follow a few basic rules.

      This parent should be grateful to the school for picking up her slack as a parent. Teaching her child to break school rules, and then throw a fit when her son has to endure the consequences, is only teaching him to blame others instead of teaching him to take responsibility for his own actions.

  • Charlene

    That’s understandable when it comes to allergies but if a child is HUNGRY!, then let a student be kind enough to share their food with one another BUT NOT EVER should they be punished for doing such a wonderful thing!!! The fact that this story is out of Weaverville does not surprise me. I got stuck living out there for a couple months and never again will I ever stay or live there. It’s a pretty town so if your old and want to retire then that’s the place for you but don’t subject your kids to that very small, in the middle of no where town. Plenty of other places close to raise your littles.

    • CG

      “The fact that this story is out of Weaverville does not surprise me. I got stuck living out there for a couple months and never again will I ever stay or live there.” I’m quite sure that with an attitude like that, nobody there misses you.

      “It’s a pretty town so if your old and want to retire then that’s the place for you but don’t subject your kids to that very small, in the middle of no where town.” Is there something fundamentally wrong with raising children in a small town? I much prefer to live in a small town than in a large city, but I don’t ridicule people who do choose that lifestyle. You seem like a very negative and closed-minded person, someone who looks down on others for not thinking or acting just like yourself. I suppose we should all live our lives just like you, then the world would be a better place for everyone, right??

  • Christie (@CeeeVeeeDeee)

    So instead of being praised for sharing and being compassionate, he’s punished. And a great opportunity missed for teaching because of the allergy reason. This school is a joke. The administrator that decided punishment was in order needs to be fired. He certainly is not an educator.

    • CG

      “The administrator that decided punishment was in order needs to be fired. He certainly is not an educator.”

      It was the lunch lady. She was enforcing the rule written by the school board, which is made up of elected officials. The mother has every right to run for school board. If she is voted in, she can have a hand at deciding school policy, and hiring (or firing) administrators. Do you honestly think that the school board will fire someone who is properly implementing school policy?

  • Milisa

    My daughter was sent to the “diciplinarian” for eating something that was given to her by a friend. My daughter had forgotten her lunch at home.

  • Sherry

    What is this country coming to that a student can’t share his lunch if he wants to. This is REDICULOUS ! Someday he might want to give his whole lunch to someone would it be better to just throw it into the trash. This is not a dictatorship this is America the land of the FREE and the home of the BRAVE!

  • rob

    I must say this is messed up! At the school I work at we encourage students who have food to let another hungry student have it if they are not going to eat. The students needs have to come before learning, we can’t expect them to learn if they are hungry.

  • Debbie Heier

    I think that by Jr. High the kids know what they are allergic to. That’s just crazy. I mean OMG the kids could be walking home from school and stop at a burger place and eat something they are allergic to…. the school has gone to far with this. It’s a shame we live in such a sue happy world…….now there are stupid rules to “protect” the schools. Kids trade lunches all the time. give me a break!!!!!!

  • Chris's

    As a parent of three children, two with food allergies. By the time they where in middle school knew what they where allergic to. This is so ridiculous of the school to punish a child who is trying to share (something they should learn in preschool).

  • Vanessa

    the worse part about this situation is that children wouldn’t have food allergies in the first place if schools served healthier foods. The schools need to figure out a way to create buying power so that food distributors will provide healthier choices for those who order from the vendors, thus, saving the school district thousands of dollars. It’s a win-win.

    • CG

      I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but parents do not have to let their children eat school lunches. They can bring home lunches filled with healthy food that doesn’t cause food allergies. Even my 5 year old daughter can make her own lunch… But yes, it’s all the school’s fault for causing kids to have allergies.

  • Nathan

    I’m all for honesty and respect for teachers, but in this case it was not their business if the boy shared his lunch. We have given teachers and schools so much power over our children that this is just the root of Idiocy. Allergies…Really! Law suits. As for the Buying power I’d say it can be regained by removal of one of the many levels of Managment. The uphemism of “Counselors” just add cost not related to teaching our children. Remove one manager for each school distric and save 100’s of thousands of dollars that can be put into the many needed programs that actually help out children.

  • Doug Gentry

    So a child can’t share his lunch because the other child might have food allergies?

    I can use that same line regarding the school lunch.

    How do you know hes not allergic to the food you serve?

    So just save us from any lawsuit..
    Lets not allow any food in school. .. oh lord, dont feed anyone. … what a bunch of candy assed people…

  • Scott C

    Good for you Kyle Bradford and to your parents for obviously fostering compassion in the home. Shame on the school administration for a punishment that is completely unwarranted and absurdly ridiculous.

  • Ashley C

    Oh please by all means, let’s drill into our children’s heads from the time they are old enough to sit up that they have to share. Let’s repeat over and over again how sharing with others and being kind to others is important. Now let’s send our children off to school with this knowledge and attitude and see them punished for actually being good human beings! That is totally insane! And people wonder why the world is full of people that only look out for themselves. Shame on that school!

  • CG

    Obviously the kid knew the rule, and chose to break the rule anyways. He got 15 min. detention for breaking a known rule. I really don’t understand what the big deal is? If the mother doesn’t like the rule, she should petition the school board to have the rule changed, or remove her son from that school district. I think that it does more harm than good to the child when a parent makes excuses for their child when they are clearly breaking a school rule. Just a guess, but I’d bet that particular parent would have the same reaction no matter how serious the offense. What she should be teaching her son is how to take responsibility instead of how to blame others for his poor choices.

  • CG

    “…when it comes to morals and manners and compassion, I believe it needs to start at home with the parent,” Sandy Bradford told KRCR-TV.

    Duh! But what does this have to do with her son getting detention for purposely breaking a school rule. He didn’t get expelled, he had to sit in the office for 15 minutes after school. BFD!

    • Dreagan Flei

      Where you bullied or something CC? I can understand the schools policy over allergies, but this really is taking things to an extreme. Whether it was 15mins or expulsion makes no difference. Not even our heads of state follow policy to the T, there are times when it really is best to bend and not be such an asshole.

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