Dear Dawg: After our board president had his credit card rejected at the local Fancy Schmancy Restaurant, he started making inquiries about the prepaid meal cards that kids use in our schools. He wanted to know what happens when the meal card balance goes to zero. Is the kid publicly embarrassed about it? Denied lunch? Our president seems to think it would be a good learning experience for the little ones to suffer some public shaming now, while they are young, so that they will never screw up about this as an adult. We think that’s not such a good idea. WADDYASAY?
DEAR WADDYASAY: We think virtually everyone has had a credit card rejected at some point. Maybe the expiration date passed, or there is some glitch in the system. Or maybe you haven’t paid your bill in a while. And we see the connection with those prepaid meal cards and your board president’s American Express. But it turns out that the Texas Legislature has weighed in on this.
HB 3562 says that if your district uses a prepaid meal card or account, you must allow the student a grace period when the card is exhausted. You must notify the parent and you may not charge a fee or interest for the overdrawn account. The new law does not specifically prohibit public humiliation, but we think that’s the idea. So tell the board president to get over it, and not take this out on the kids.
DAWG BONE: WE CALL THIS ONE: GRACE AFTER MEALS.