I woke up this morning and made sure my grandson made it to the bus on time, walked the dog, made coffee and then I sat down at my computer in a pretty good mood. That lasted about five minutes until I read this Washington Post article,“West Virginia: Lawmaker wants kids to work for ‘free lunch’”. Now, I am seriously pissed.
“I think it would be a good idea if perhaps we had the kids work for their lunches: trash to be taken out, hallways to be swept, lawns to be mowed, make them earn it,” said Ray Canterbury, a Republican from Greenbrier and a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, during debate over Senate Bill 663, also known as the Feed to Achieve Act.
What in the hell is this idiot thinking? Children should have to sweep floors and empty garbage to receive their lunch? Isn’t the stigma that is attached to be one of the “free lunch kids” enough? This guy sounds like Mr. Bumble in Oliver.
I truly don’t understand the disconnect that many of our government representatives have when it comes to other Americans. It takes all Americans to keep this country functioning. The average unskilled worker makes about $27,000 a year. That’s just over $2000 a month. The average rent for a two bedroom apartment is $800 a month, add another $300 for utilities. That leaves $900 or $225 a week to cover all other expenses such as food, gas, clothing, medical costs, dental costs, car repairs, car insurance, etc. With this income a family of four would have, after rent and utilities, just over $50 a week is available for each person’s care. That’s about $8 a day. Hmmmm.
I get so tired of hearing people ranting on the news that the problem in society is education and if people would just apply themselves they could get the better jobs, stay off public assistance and support their families. That sounds great but there are kids who do not have the ability to excel in school no matter how good their intentions, there are kids who cannot qualify for college because their grades are not good enough and there are kids who have to work to support their families and can’t dedicate themselves to their studies. Are these kids still not vital to our communities? You are ignorant if you think that they are not. These are the people that will build our roadways, pick up the garbage, clean our schools, cook our food, stock our shelves and do any job that does not require a college degree. Unskilled workers are necessary to keep America running. They are as important as any college educated persons sitting in an air-conditioned office.
I WANT my tax dollars to go towards feeding kids. I WANT my tax dollars to make sure they get to see a doctor when they are sick. I WANT my tax dollars to help someone. I DO NOT want to shame them or humiliate them in order for them to receive any help. I want them to receive a lunch that costs about .40. Today when you go out for lunch and order that $2 iced tea, think about how that $2 could have bought a week of school lunches for one kid.
I am ashamed that any member of our nation’s government feels that programs like this are” is undermining work ethic and teaching students they don’t have to work hard”. You know what, I am not just ashamed I am disgusted.
Mr. Ray Canterbury, if I could I would vote you off our continent.