A nine-year-old boy using his allowance money to pay off the lunch debts of his entire class should.
A nine-year-old boy using his allowance money to pay off the lunch debts of his entire class should have made for a heartwarming story. Instead, it has sparked a social media debate about why such a system should exist at all in the "world’s wealthiest country."
Ryan Kirkpatrick decided to help his classmates after having a conversation with his mother about some students being unable to afford school lunches. Kylie Kirkpatrick said her son asked her to find out how much fellow third-graders at West Park Elementary School in California, United States, owed to the school.
"It was I think $74.50. So I took that email and came to Ryan and said, 'What do you want to do,' and he said, 'I guess I can pay for it.' I said, 'are you sure?' And he said, 'yes.'"
So, instead of spending it on sports gear, Ryan gave all his allowance money to the school.
Depending on income levels, elementary school meals range in price from 30 cents to $3.25 each.
Ryan, who had made the payment anonymously, said, "I want them to realize people actually think about them because you're not just bragging about stuff. I want them to feel happy someone cares about them."
Although the story went viral on social media with people praising the boy for his caring gesture, it also led to a raging debate about the debt system.