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Kindergartener Says School Didn't Let Her Eat

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POSTED: Friday, October 29, 2010 - 5:32pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 - 9:34am

EL PASO - The parents of an Omar Bradley kindergartener say it was not an acceptable form of discipline. They say their daughter's teacher didn't let her eat lunch because she was a few minutes late to class. They even showed us her cafeteria account history that appears to back up their story.

"It really bothers me because I don't think it's fair not to feed her for a problem that she really can't control. I think it's really not fair for her," Manuel Bustamonte said.

Bustamonte says his daughter was late because his wife and other child were at the hospital with the family's only car.

"I'm pretty sure it's happened before, but parents really don't speak about it. So that's why I'm doing this, because I want to make sure that the right things are getting done."

The Bustamontes gave us permission to talk to their daughter, but they asked us to hide her face because on top of being disciplined she is now being made fun of by other kids.

"My friend Pedro was laughing at me because I didn't get any food," she said.

So is it acceptable for the EPISD to discipline a child by not allowing them to eat lunch? That's what we called them to find out. Here's what a district spokeswoman said, "Definitely not. No, that's not our policy whatsoever."

We're told the district is now investigating, and they have already met with the Bustamontes

"They're really not helping at all," Bustamonte said.

The family is now requesting their daughter be moved to a class with a different teacher. In the meantime, they don't want to let their daughter go to school, and they say they're angry the district punished their daughter by not allowing her to eat.

We'll continue to follow this story.

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Be Careful, fight for ur kid(s) sometimes we let things go by, but after a while worse things come around. Similar issues happened to my 8yr old,since beginning of school, now teacher is in trouble n about to loose her job.Let me tell u Latin vs. latin aren't we the same n come from same place.

Read article carefully:The child arrived at class a few minutes late,8:30 is the start for K,so say she got there at 9am, early enough Using class disruption as an excuse to deny her a meal is poor classroom management.Parents assumption that it may have happened before aside, it happened this once:that's one too many. Her friend Pedro laughed at her for not eating.The question is where was the child, was she left in the classroom, playground or was she in the cafeteria but not allowed a meal.

It's also a bit ignorant of the parents to keep her from school, she'll be thinking this is the norm. They're probably considering a lawsuit though, claiming mental abuse and discrimination.

Isn't kindergarden half-days only? either AM or PM, with day care making up the rest of the full-time schedule for some. Here in Ohio, there is no lunch, only one snack. I guess this kid is on the free lunch program, and the parents don't have the money to provide her with meals during the day? When my son was in kinder in El Paso, it was half days as well, he ate lunch at home.

Not all kindergarten is half day. My son goes from 8-3:30. And the parents said they brought up the lunch history, so they probably have paid the account, and can see which days is deducted for meals. I work 11 hours a day and don't have time to make my son a lunch every day, so I pay for him to eat at school. There was nothing in the article stating she was on free lunch, and if she was, that's irrelevant to the story.

This teacher should be fited, bet if it was that ignorant teachers kid not gettin fed shed b pissed also, n plus its not the kids fault, they punish her a if she's the one driving. What a load of crap!!

Hey we need to follow rules, if the child was with her parents during lunch time, guess who is responsible for getting her a meal??? Not the school. IRRESPONSIBLE PARENTS.

She wasn't with them DURING lunch, she arrived late to school, it doesn't mean she was late to her lunch period.

What are the facts. Did the child arrive after the lunch was served? There isnt enough here to draw a conclussion.

you can leave but you will always be a Hispanic. Are you treated better wherever you are? You are right maybe if she were white that stupid ignorant teacher would have thought twice before doing such thing. I bet this poor excuse of a teacher is Hispanic! A very proud Mexican-American!!!!

Stay Focused: Do Not bring the race card into this, especially in this Borderlands community.A 5 year old student was neglected, who cares what color, what her parents are or where they are from. For many hours daily the sole person in control of the child is the Teacher, a trained, salaried professional. They may be overworked and underpaid but they knew that when they were being trained, it just shows the strength of character and dedication to their profession.But it just takes one mistake.

Wouldn't you want to find out more if your child came home and told you they weren't allowed to eat? I would be like a pit bull and not only get to the bottom of it immediatley but I wold also get the police and the department of human services involved and of course, have her job. I truly hope this so-called teacher loses her job. That child was neglected! Very unprofessional on her part!

At most EPISD schools, you are notified at the start of the year that meals are no longer served after "x" time, thus allowing the student(s) at least 10-15 minutes to eat quickly before class. Exceptions are made when the school is notified of buses running late. You cannot expect the cooks and kitchen staff to wait around indefinitely on the off-chance that a straggler may happen in. This does not even cover the disruption of class when the child finally arrives.

Your argument for the kitchen policy and staff is well noted and valid.Thank God for PB & Js."Disruption of class" is a slick excuse but this is Kinder where the kids will greet each other enthusiastically and then are gotten under control by the teacher ASAP. The classroom content is not hard to continue after all this is K not a medical school seminar. Do not lose focus on the lack of professionalism and concern for a 5 year old student by the SALARIED person responsible for their education.

I would like to think that the actions of this one kindergarten teaher do not reflect EPISD or it's teaching staff. I hope that I am right. The form of discipline that this teacher took is wrong. I do belive she needs to be investigated to see how many times she has done this or worse. Parents need to become more involved with their kids and the school, rgardless of your district. Let teachers know you care and won't tolerate bad habits.

Great point: Parent involvement is key to any student's education, from Pre-K to 16th grade the parents are one of the main ingredients to a successful education.Borderlands parents of all levels of socio economic status wish to participate but may be limited, thats where an observant and dedicated Teacher comes in. Teaching is not a 9-5 job, and the joke that those that can't teach is old and outdated. New Teachers care and are very dedicated, but there are traditionals that need to retire.

El Paso is the only town that a kindergartener can say something and it makes the news without the facts being checked.

Isn't that what the news is doing? Checking out the facts? How do you relate the news programs with all of El Paso? Do you work for the news?

No, they are telling one side of the story. They did not talk to the school or the teacher. This is a Hispanic child and a Hispanic teacher. Race has nothing to do with it. If the parent can’t get them there in time for lunch, whose fault is it?

Well Steve if my daughter came and told me that she wasn't allowed to eat because she was late, and the facts "did" support it after viewing her lunch account I would take it to the next level what ever that may be. Obiviously, this teachers has no compassion for the health and well being of this child so she lets her go hungry throughout the day.

I hope they discipline or fire the bitch that allowed that.

After reading the whole story, I would guess that the parent brought the child too late to go to lunch. That would be a lot more than "a few minutes late." We may never know the truth. When there is a problem at school, good parents get involved and try to help, poor parents complain.

Yeay, EPISD, another reason, I left El paso. Since the majority is Latino like myself, fewer complains happen. Look at Bowie High school, and I mean really look at and in Bowie High School.

Sounds like you did not get much education from EPISD. Did you go to Bowie? That would explain it. Hope you are in a better place now.

Sounds like lose parents.

What is a "lose parents"?

I agree 100%! If you took your kid out of school for an appointment and brought them back at 2:00 should the cafeteria have to feed them thier lunch that they missed? Losers for sure!

Doesn't EPISD have enough problems on its plate without adding something as basic as allowing a kindergartener to have her meal. How stupid and brutish can this ignorant teacher be and still be allowed to "teach" these young kids, EPISD you hired the teacher and keep her on when there are countless able teachers searching for a job: she's your teacher-- EPISD fix the problem.

That teacher needs to be fired!!! Or get their azz kicked.

You are an idiot!

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