Anti-Lunch Shaming Bill Introduced by the U.S. House of Representatives


The “Anti-Lunch Shaming Act of 2017” was recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. The purpose of the bill is to prohibit school practices that single out students with unpaid meal debts. To become law, the bill would have to pass both the House and the Senate and be signed by the President.

The bill, if passed into law, would require schools to communicate directly with parents about unpaid meal debts or other school related debts rather than rely on students to provide the information to their parents.

In addition, it would prohibit practices that:

  • Require students to work off unpaid debts;
  • Require students with unpaid debts to be identified by having them wear special bracelets or hand stamps; and
  • Prevent schools from throwing out a child’s meal if it is determined that a child can’t pay after the meal has been served.

The bill encourages schools to coordinate with other income-based programs in determining eligibility for school meal programs.

TransACT Parent Notices is a district-wide online subscription to expertly written parent notifications in multiple languages. The "TransACT General Education" parent notice collection contains notifications to support legally compliant school-to-home communication about resources and activites across your entire district or school campus.The letter, Notice of Financial Obligation: Unpaid School Fine or Fee, is one of over 100 notices in the collection that enable districts to comply with federal education and civil rights laws.

The Notice of Financial Obligation letter specifically provides information for parents and the contact information for someone at the school who they can work with regarding any unpaid fees. This notification,which is available in multiple languages to protect the civil rights of Limited English Proficiency families, can help your district avoid lunch shaming claims if it is sent directly to parents. Note that students should not be required to hand carry the letter home. 

Contact a Parent Notifications team member using this form to learn more about our expertly written, translated parent notifications for campus services, ESSA, Section 504, IDEA and more. 


Dr. David Holbrook

About The Author

Dr. David Holbrook is a nationally recognized leader in federal programs administration and monitoring with expertise in Title I, Title III, Native American Education, and Federal Programs. Dr. Holbrook has also worked as a consultant with Title III of the US Department of Education and now serves as Executive Director, Federal Compliance and State Relationships with TransAct.