Boy has school breakfast thrown out over 30 cent debt

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When a 12-year-old Texas boy went to eat breakfast this week at his middle school a cafeteria worker took away the meal and tossed it in the trash -- all because his meal account was 30 cents short.

Jennifer Castilleja of Dickinson said she received a call from her son's school Wednesday morning and was told the cafeteria refused to let the boy eat unless she came in and paid the 30 cents owed.

When Castilleja told school officials she was on her way to the school to pay and asked that they let her son eat until she arrived, the school refused.

According to KTRK-TV, Castilleja says her son is on the reduced meal cost plan and her prepaid account had simply run out of funds.

Castilleja says her son forgot to let her know that the fund needed replenishing, but she's furious at how her son was treated, "There were kids all around him. I think he may have been a little embarrassed and upset and, of course, hungry."

The Dickinson School District stands by its policy and says parents are given both a verbal and written warning that their child's meal account is running low.

In a study published last year, researchers in the United Kingdom found that students who miss breakfast show "significantly reduced" performance in class.