Ohio school took hot lunch from 9-year-old on his birthday due to unpaid lunch debt
© Getty Images

An Ohio school district is under fire after school officials denied a hot meal to a 9-year-old with outstanding school lunch debt on his birthday.

Local NBC affiliate WKYC 3 reported that Jefferson Sharpnack initially received a lunch from the school before the meal was taken away from him in front of other students by a staffer.

Sharpnack's lunch was reportedly replaced with a cold cheese sandwich.


"I can't believe that it's cost effective to throw away food and give them cheese and bread, that's more money," Diane Bailey, Sharpnack's grandmother, told the news station. "I just asked if they could possibly change their policy or find a different way other than embarrassing the kids."

Green, Ohio, schools superintendent Jeff MillerJefferson (Jeff) Bingham MillerCorporations seek to rebuild bridges with GOP objectors ahead of midterms Portland names pedestrian overpass after Ned Flanders Congress should explore extending certain VA benefits to Afghan allies MORE responded to the incident on Facebook Monday after his office was sharply criticized on social media, telling parents that all students would receive hot lunchesĀ for the day regardless of their account balances.

"We are committed to providing our students with a positive, safe learning environment and experience in every aspect of the school day. All students enrolled in PreK through twelfth grades will receive the standard lunch for the day at their respective buildings regardless of their account balance," Miller said.

"We are sensitive to the financial hardship families incur and challenges presented due to the cost of school breakfast and lunches. Our staff, in coordination with Family Support Specialists, will continue to work with families to ensure they have access to all available resources to assist with purchasing school meals," he added.