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Autistic Boy Denied Lunch at School Because Parents Owed Money — Is It Fair? [POLL]

school lunch
Chidorian, Flickr

Parents of a 5-year-old autistic boy are upset with their son’s school because, they say, the staff refused to feed him lunch due to an unpaid bill and left him to finish out the remainder of the day hungry.

According to Silvia and John Caravella of Matawan, New Jersey, their son John Robert was not allowed to eat lunch on his fourth day at Cliffwood Elementary School because of an outstanding bill they say only fell behind because they did not fully understand the school’s payment procedures.

The couple says what’s worse is that not only did the school let their son go hungry over a few dollars, but no one at the school made any attempt to even reach out to them to try to settle up the debt. “He’s in lunch, he’s supposed to eat, why don’t you make a phone call?” said John Caravella. “Can I have a credit card? Can you drop off some lunch? I would have done anything to get him some food.”

The Caravellas say because of their son’s autism, he cannot verbally communicate, which prevented him from expressing to members of the school staff just how hungry he was.

Matawan school officials say the episode was an “unfortunate oversight.”

“It’s never happened here before and we will work to ensure that it will never happen again,” said the Matawan school superintendent.


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