Back at the start of the legislative session, when Gov. John Bel Edwards urged lawmakers to pass a ban on so-called “lunch shaming” of students, I wondered aloud on social media how anyone could oppose a law preventing kids from being publicly humiliated because of their parents’ actions, and promised to name names of those who did.
So here goes: Sens. John Milkovich, D-Shreveport, Conrad Appel, R-Metairie, Beth Mizell, R-Franklinton and Bodi White, R-Central.
These four senators killed House Bill 281 in committee Thursday, after the measure by state Rep. Patricia Smith, D-Baton Rouge, had easily passed the House with bipartisan backing. Just two members of the Senate Education Committee, state Sens. Gerald Boudreaux, D-Lafayette and Mike Walsworth, R-West Monroe, voted yes.
The vote came after school board officials complained it would burden districts with an unfunded mandate and debt, but the proposal delineated other ways for schools to seek payment for unpaid lunch bills. It just mandated that kids shouldn’t be kicked out of hot lunch lines, barred from other school activities or required to do chores for their food because of their parents’ shortcomings.
It’s no fun being singled out in public, and it’s particularly humiliating for kids who didn’t do anything wrong themselves.
As for the responsible adults who voted against this decent-minded proposal, well, they’ve earned whatever public shaming they might get.