We have heard the stories in Minnesota and around the country about students who are publicly outed because they have school lunch debt.
Well, there may be new rules coming to schools across the country about how they can identify students who cannot afford meals.
On Wednesday Minnesota U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar will introduce the No Shame at School Act. This bill would prohibit any kind of identification like tokens or wristbands, publishing a list of children with outstanding debts, or using debt collectors to obtain school meal fees. It would also require schools to attempt to certify a child with unpaid meal fees and subsequently allow that school to receive retroactive reimbursement for that child's meals for up to 90 days.
Senator Tina Smith will introduce a companion bill on Wednesday, as well.
Alongside Rep. Omar will be Valerie Castile. Her late son, Philando Castile, was a cafeteria worker at J.J. Hill Montessori in St. Paul and was known to regularly pay for students meals out of his own pocket.
Recently, Valerie and her organization named after her son paid off $8,000 in school lunch debt for students at Robbinsdale Cooper High School in New Hope.