Killeen Teacher’s Petition to Feed Students Has Over 100,000 Supporters
On February 22, Killeen school teacher Kelvin L. Holt finally had enough with Texas lawmakers and created a petition for the state legislature to give students a free meal even if their meal cards doesn't have enough funds.
Children are not the guilty parties in this scenario, and they should not be punished with hunger for mistakes their parents make.
The petition initially had a small following but supporters have ballooned for this cause, now garnering over 100,000 signatures. Holt explains how it's not right to punish parents through their kids - not feeding a child because the parent isn't responsible won't solve the problem. He then went on to describe a situation where he witnessed an interaction with one of his four-year-old students and the cashier at the cafeteria.
One of my 4-year-olds held her tray up to the cashier to receive her meal, and what she got in return was an emphatic “You have no money!” followed by the removal of her tray. I live by my debit card and on this day I had absolutely no cash on me or I would have paid the $1.50 for the child's meal. The student then sat at the table assigned to her class and was inconsolable for the next twenty minutes, while her classmates enjoyed their breakfast meals.
Holt thanks the entire community for the support of his petition, but one of the biggest factors was an anonymous contributor from New Jersey who boosted his petition on change.org.
Some school districts already have a policy to give students smaller, alternative meals if they don't have the money, but often more than not those alternative meals are still not enough.
The next step is to reach 75,000 supporters and to get a response from Rep. J.D. Sheffield and Sen. Troy Fraser.
"I would like to have some commitment from a legislator or a senator, someone saying, 'Yes, I will initiate the amendment, and it will be amendment XYZ.' I just want someone to go public and say, 'Yes, I'm the person that's going to initiate that amendment,'" Holt told KXXV News.