The Stewartville School District is backtracking after landing in some very hot water.

The school district, located just outside of Rochester, has come up with a new student lunch policy after facing serious backlash regarding their current one.

The district's policy was to deny students a hot lunch or take their lunch away if they had a negative balance on their account, giving a child a sandwich instead. The district says this was their way of combating student lunch debt, which at one point was over $10,000 dollars.

The district gained statewide attention after local news in the area reported on an incident revolving around the controversial policy. The news report claimed a school employee threw away a student's lunch in front of everyone because they were in the red. (Note: this incident was not confirmed.)

The school board openly stated that student lunch debt is a huge problem - with the district facing nearly $11,000 in debt from unpaid lunch charges at one point in time. A GoFundMe account has been set up to offset the costs of the debt for now until they can come up with a better solution.

It seems they are on their way. The school board voted Monday to overturn the controversial policy. A new one was put in its place. The goal is to allow everyone a hot lunch so they can focus on their schooling during the day while also protecting those students that have a negative account balance.

The new policy states, "If a student has insufficient funds to pay for a meal, the student will still be allowed to purchase the meal, which will cause the account balance to become negative. All students will be provided a meal regardless of meal account status."

The school says they will focus on better communication with families for those that have a negative account balance rather than taking away lunch privileges. You can read the full policy here. 

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