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Ohio Elementary School Says Any Kid With A Negative Lunch Balance Can't Enjoy Ice Cream With Their Peers Even If They Bring In $1 To Pay

Photo: ShineTerra/Thiranun Kunatum/Luis Molinero - Shutterstock
kids eating ice cream

We all know the rhyme. You probably chant it in your head every time you see an ice cream truck go by — "I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream."

Well, some students at Donovan Elementary School in Ohio were not given the opportunity to yell out in joy because depleted lunch money accounts meant no ice cream treats.

It all started when the elementary school took to Twitter (X) to announce its very first "ice cream Friday." What sounds like a fun event for kids and faculty alike, turned into a nightmare after reading the fine print.

Any student with a negative lunch account balance could not participate — even if they had cash on hand.

To add insult to injury, students with plenty of money in their lunch accounts couldn't even buy an ice cream for friends forced to go without.

Students without lunch money can't have ice cream twitter postPhoto: Donovan Elementary School - Twitter (X)

RELATED: School Adopts Policy Saying That Kids With No Lunch Money Can't Eat – 'Unless They Come Back With Money, Their Tray Will Be Thrown Away’

The school's 'Ice Cream Friday' post sparked outrage over inclusivity in schools. The school's policy made the rounds on social media with mounting outrage and administrators realized, despite their efforts, that they could not cover up the slight. 

People were truly unable to believe that an elementary school would make such a heartless decision and exclude kids who may not have the means to keep a lunch balance flush with funds. 

Marketing strategist Calés McGinnis, who is all about representation, inclusion and empowerment, told the tale of what happened next on her Twitter (X) account.

RELATED: Kind Teacher Uses $1 Donations To Cover Students' Lunches So Kids Aren't 'Worrying' About Whether They Can Eat

Naiyozcsia Thomason of Mz. Jades Soul Food in Middleton, Ohio leapt into action by paying off all of the past-due balances on the students' lunch accounts so no child would be left out of ice cream Friday. She simply could not bear the thought of a kid watching from the sidelines as his or her classmates enjoyed the event.

But she was not alone in her generosity. Mike Rowling, owner of MSR Trucking, LLC in Monroe, Ohio, donated an additional $5,000 to make sure the students didn't fall behind again and could always be part of the Friday celebration. 

Feeling left out can be detrimental to a growing child's psyche. 

The school should have known that children suffer greatly when they are not included socially. It can cause issues like insomnia, anxiety, depression, heightened aggression and embarrassment that contribute to low self-esteem and dimished immune response. 

If they could not afford to make sure all students enjoyed ice cream on Fridays, the school should have left that idea on the cutting room floor.

Image and acceptance are paramount among child peer groups, and the school should have taken that into consideration before creating a reward system that didn't fit within their budgetary constraints.

Thank goodness for heroes like Ms. Thomason and Mr. Rowling who were willing to sacrifice their own hard-earned money to put a smile on the faces of a few kids they didn't even know. 

RELATED: A Parent Is Livid After Finding Out Her Daughter Can't Have DoorDash Delivered To Her School For Lunch — But The Teachers Can

NyRee Ausler is a writer from Seattle, Washington. She covers lifestyle, relationships, and human-interest stories that readers can relate to and that bring social issues to the forefront for discussion.