United States Department of Agriculture
FNS Instruction 791-1
Prohibition Against Denying Meals and Milk to Children as a Disciplinary Action
This Instruction prohibits the denial of meals and milk as a disciplinary action against any child who is enrolled in a school participating in the Child Nutrition Programs. Such denial of meals or milk is inconsistent with Sections 2 and 9 of the National School Lunch Act and Sections 2, 3, and 4 of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966.
Disciplinary action which indirectly results in the loss of meals or milk is allowable (e.g., a student is suspended from school). However, when the withholding of meals or milk is the disciplinary action, it is inconsistent with the law and is not allowable (e.g., a student is suspended from school during the meal or milk period only).
A. State Agencies or Regional offices, where applicable, shall:
- Notify all LEAs that denying a meal or milk to any eligible child as a disciplinary measure is contrary to the National School Lunch Act and the Child Nutrition Act of 1966.
- Follow through as necessary with the appropriate LEA to correct and prevent recurrence of any reported instances of disciplinary action which directly results in denial of a paid, free or reduced price meal, or free or paid milk (if participating in the Special Milk Program).
B. LEAs shall:
- When considering a disciplinary action against any child, ensure that such action is consistent with the policy contained herein.
- Make a reimbursable meal or milk available to any child attending school who, for disciplinary reasons, is not allowed to eat in the cafeteria.