View Full Version : How my mentor teacher and I were stumped by a 5-year-old kid

02-06-2014, 06:34 AM
So the school I'm working at is in a low-to-moderate income area. Needless to say, we have a system in place for kids whose parents don't send lunch to school.
UNLESS they have a documented allergy or dietary issue, the usual plan is to provide noodles for those kids who aren't ordering lunch from the tuckshop.

One kid was being sent to school with money and was in the habit of frequently coming up to us and asking for it, so she could skip off to the canteen and buy things. After a while though, we noticed a few things that seemed a little bit suspicious:

-She was coming to school with both a lunchbox AND money.
-The money was quite a high amount (most kids were given maybe a dollar or two, she was bringing in $5+ a DAY)
-She was eagerly running off to the canteen sometimes before the lunch bell rang and taking other kids with her.

We eventually cracked down today and discovered what was actually happening: she wasn't eating all of her lunch and filling up on junk food from the tuckshop. Now her lunchbox was FULL to the brim, including oranges, a sandwich, a donut and she also had recess that she hadn't eaten. She threw a fit and cried. The mentor teacher talked to her teacher from last year and discovered why she was bringing in so much money:

The money was meant to be a "safety net" to use if mum had forgotten to send lunch to school with her or if she had finished ALL of her lunch and in the case of the latter, that was what the coins were for. She'd been filling up on junk food.

We also figured out that the reason why she'd been taking other kids with her? Because she was essentially buying their friendship. They were getting lollies and other goodies from her because she had the money. It was kinda sad and further compounded by my observation of her following around several older children at lunchtime...she essentially had no "real" friends in the class as a result.

We're now leaving a note for any relief teachers that they're to see her lunchbox first and if she dumps anything, she won't be getting the money, she'll be getting noodles.

02-07-2014, 06:14 PM
And this is a 5-year-old?!

I foresee a great future ahead of her in politics. I'm not joking or being sarcastic here, I'm serious.

02-08-2014, 11:26 PM
no a lobbyist. she's already learned how to buy people. the ones being bought have the future in politics imo. <grin>