Dad Gets Mad When His Son Returned Home From School With A Weird Mark On His Arm

Published on 04/26/2020
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He did not think much of the mark on his kid’s arm the first time that he saw it. But it all changed when he found out what it was and how it got there. In fact, he started to see red as soon as he figured out what was going on! Why would the school shame his son in such a cruel manner? He decided to pull up his son’s sleeve and snapped a photo to show everyone. Whoever thought it was a good idea was going to pay for what his child had to go through.

Dad Saw Red When His Son Returned Home From School With A Weird Mark On His Arm

Dad Saw Red When His Son Returned Home From School With A Weird Mark On His Arm

She Did Her Research

Tara Chavez did her homework on the schools in their part of Phoenix before finally deciding on Desert Cove Elementary School. She considered everything before arriving at this decision because this was not an issue that she took lightly.

She Did Her Research

She Did Her Research

Well-Being Of A Young Boy

Among other things, she had to weigh factors such as affordability and class size. However, the deciding factor was the well-being of her son. He was a sensitive boy, so she wanted to ensure that he would be treated properly.

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Well-Being Of A Young Boy

The School Sounded Perfect

Tara went to the school to attend several open days. She felt that Desert Cove Elementary School was going to be good for her son, so she finished the paperwork and enrolled the young boy.

The School Sounded Perfect

The School Sounded Perfect

Controversy

She had no idea that it was going to be a decision that she would sorely regret when everything was said and done. Not once did this mom think that it would lead to a controversy! After she spoke out about her predicament, other parents decided to stand their ground as well.

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Controversy

Everything Was Going Well

It looked like everything was going well after one full term at Desert Cove Elementary School. Cayden had been doing well at school, which made her husband convinced that the school was a good fit for him.

Everything Was Going Well

Everything Was Going Well

School Ethos

The ethos of the school resonated with the parents, so they felt certain that it was the best place for their little boy. On top of that, their son adored his teachers. However, they soon found out that their little boy had been facing a big problem out there.

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School Ethos

He Went Home Upset

After another day at school, Tara went to the school to fetch little Cayden. As soon as she saw him, she could tell that there was something very wrong. But what exactly was is? She couldn’t quite place her finger on it…

He Went Home Upset

He Went Home Upset

Bad Behavior

Right away, she assumed that her son was being bullied by his fellow students or maybe even a teacher. Tara really started to get worried that perhaps her son was now a victim of bullying.

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Bad Behavior

Concerned Mom

She regained her composure and tried to improve his mood as much as she could, so she asked the young boy about his day. Like any other loving parent, this concerned mom was determined to get to the bottom of things.

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Concerned Mom

The Mark On His Arm

Cayden only replied with a brusque “fine” and kept his eyes trained outside the car window. Gently, Tara asked the little boy if something happened at school. However, he refused to give his mother anything more than another curt answer. It was clear that he did not want to discuss whatever was bothering him at that moment.

The Mark On His Arm

The Mark On His Arm

Driving Home

So Tara thought it was best not to pester him further. She let him have some space but planned to talk about it more when they got home. It was then that she noticed a blue mark on his arm.

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Driving Home

He Was Branded

She craned her neck to get a look at the thing on his arm. At a glance, she thought that it was only dirt. However, a closer inspection made it clear that this was not the case.

He Was Branded

He Was Branded

What Did It Read?

Tara could just tell that the reason her son was so down had something to do with this mark. But she also wanted to understand the full story. Well, they do say that a mother’s instinct is always right!

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What Did It Read?

She Feared The Worst

This mother now had a lead on what happened, but she decided to let the matter rest until they reached home. After all, she had to keep her eyes on the road until they arrived at their house.

She Feared The Worst

She Feared The Worst

Angry As A Raging Bull

Even though she let it go, for now, she had been holding the wheel so tightly that her knuckles went white. She did because she knew that she could not show her son how angry she was. You just know that the person behind this was going to be in big trouble. You do not want to mess with Tara!

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Angry As A Raging Bull

They Held A Family Meeting

As soon as they got home, Cayden tried to head straight to his room. However, Tara made sure that he would not hide without telling them the entire story. She then called her husband, brought out a chair, and asked their son to sit down.

They Held A Family Meeting

They Held A Family Meeting

Perhaps It Was A Bruise

Mark, her husband, lifted his son’s sleeve to look at the thing that was on his arm. They initially thought that it was a bruise, but it was only ink. Did the young boy write on his arm? However, the concerned dad knew this could not be true after seeing the words on his skin.

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Perhaps It Was A Bruise

Written In Capital Letters

There were two words on Cayden’s son. The bold ink read “LUNCH MONEY” in thick blue letters! Why was this stamped on his arm? Who would do such a thing? Especially for such a young child.

Written In Capital Letters

Written In Capital Letters

The Lunch Lady

Cayden then told them that the lunch lady was the one who left it on his skin. It seems like she wanted to publicly shame the poor boy in front of the whole school. His parents got angrier the more they heard what their son had to say.

The Lunch Lady

The Lunch Lady

He Had No Choice

“I asked if he was given a choice by the lunch lady, and he said, ‘No, she just grabbed my wrist and put the stamp on,’” Tara tearfully explained when she was interviewed. It saddened her at just the thought of her son being humiliated.

He Had No Choice

He Had No Choice

Social Media

Even though Cayden was still able to pay for his food, the lunch money in his account had been running low. After the angry mom checked online, she felt even more infuriated when saw that there were still 75 cents in there. Mark snapped a photo of the stamp and uploaded it on the internet.

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Social Media

They Humiliated The Poor Boy

“He was screaming and crying the entire time,” shared the concerned mom, “He was humiliated, didn’t even want me to take a picture of it.” Of course, the most concerning issue here was how embarrassed the little boy felt about it.

They Humiliated The Poor Boy

They Humiliated The Poor Boy

Major Disaster

There was no doubt that it made him feel bad and did a number on his self-esteem. Usually, the school sent out a reminder through email if the lunch money account was already running low. However, did the school really mess up in this situation?

Major Disaster

Major Disaster

It Went Viral

It did not take long before the post made its rounds on the internet. Well, after all we are living in the digital age, after all. The story ended up getting hundreds of shares and comments.

It Went Viral

It Went Viral

Twitterverse

A lot of parents decided to stand behind the family and comments poured in that said Tara’s reaction were totally justified. “Like, y’all couldn’t send a note?” one of her friends chimed in.

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Twitterverse

Comments Kept Coming

Another friend of hers responded with, “Y’all couldn’t think for two seconds about the numerous references of branding someone as a stigma?” If you ask us, she really does have a good point.

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Comments Kept Coming

Other Kids With Similar Experiences

“What kind of twisted person holds a child’s arm & applies a big, block-lettered stamp in black ink to their little arm?!!” a different netizen added. A number of people who read the post believe that the stamp was simply “unacceptable.”

Other Kids With Similar Experiences

Other Kids With Similar Experiences

Loads Of Notifications

Another parent, not connected to the family or school responded with a very angry message, “If a kid’s parents don’t have any money to deposit to the child’s account … do they just keep stamping the child every day? Seriously.”

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Loads Of Notifications

The School Responds

Anyway, let us hear what the school had to say about the matter. Tara got an email not long after the post attracted a lot of attention. What did the school have to say to her about the issue?

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The School Responds

They Denied The Claims

Stacey Orest, the principal of Desert Cove Elementary School, said that the staff did not intend to humiliate the kids with “reminder stamps.” She then explained to Tara that the cafeteria staff is “supposed to ask them if they want a stamp or a reminder slip.”

They Denied The Claims

They Denied The Claims

Unhappy Parents’

However, Tara was not satisfied with the explanation at all that was provided by the school. In fact, the other parents who tuned into the story wanted to completely outlaw the “reminder” stamps. It was just not okay anymore.

Unhappy Parents'

Unhappy Parents’

The Official Statement

The Monday after that, the school district put out an official statement about the incident. Becky Kelbaugh, the Paradise Valley Unified School District spokesperson, said, “It was never the intention of Desert Cove Elementary School administration and staff to embarrass any student by using the stamp.”

The Official Statement

The Official Statement

It Was Not The First Time

She went on, “Students were given the choice between a letter or reminder stamp. Going forward, Desert Cove Elementary School will send a letter home notifying parents of low lunch balances.”

It Was Not The First Time

It Was Not The First Time

Phoenix New Times

Aside from this, she also informed the Phoenix New Times that the primary school is going to stop using “reminder stamps.” We are glad to hear that they will not do this anymore. However, the truth is that it was not the first and only time that such a thing happened.

Phoenix New Times

Phoenix New Times

It Made His Blood Boil

Jon Bivens is the father of a third-grade student who goes to Gardendale Elementary School. A very similar situation happened with his son not too long before this incident. The young boy came home with something similar on his arm. Wait until you see what happens…

It Made His Blood Boil

It Made His Blood Boil

Surprised

This dad said that he did not think much of it at first. “I thought it was a good job stamp,” he explained his initial nonchalance. He changed his mind after seeing that it was a stamp of these words: “I need lunch money.” Jon felt surprised since he was normally notified instead.

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Surprised

No Justification For This

Jon, together with his wife, give their little boy packed lunches every day but let him buy treats from the cafeteria every now and then. However, there was something that truly angered him, wait until you see what it was.

No Justification For This

No Justification For This

Not Acceptable

It turns out that his son actually still had money left on his account by the end of the term! When he was stamped, there was still a balance of $1.38 in there. This was not acceptable!

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The Ethics Of This Practice

“They herd these kids like cattle,” this furious dad said. According to him, his son was also “branded” by a school. “When you start stamping a message on a child’s body instead of calling…it’s just not okay,”

The Ethics Of This Practice

The Ethics Of This Practice

Bullying

He continued to share his feelings during an interview by saying, “It’s a form of bullying and shaming the kids.” Do you agree that it is too harsh to implement a “branding” system in cafeterias? What do you think?

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Bullying

Greatly Humiliating

Desert Cove is a relatively affluent school — only 32% of the students there qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. So it’s easy to imagine that singling out students whose account balances are low could be a humiliating experience for them.

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Greatly Humiliating

‘Lunch Shaming’

However, this is no excuse “Lunch shaming” can lead students to skip meals altogether, That in turn hurts their academic performance and makes them more likely to repeat a grade or require mental health counseling

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Lunch Shaming

Deeply Apologetic

Later on, a statement was released by Desert Cove Elementary School saying, “It was never the intention of administration and staff to embarrass any student by using the stamp” They were deeply sorry

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Deeply Apologetic

Many Years Before

Although it was a system that had been using for many years, they said that going forward, the school would discontinue using the “stamping method” and from there on out only communicate with parents.

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Many Years Before

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