If you're like me, you're first thought is, "WHAT?!? What's wrong with this mom?"
Then, I read the story. Ah. Not quite so bad as I first thought.
In fact, I'd have done the same thing with my child. If I tell you to do something and you don't obey...then you will face the consequences of your disobedience. As most parents know, the best consequences, the ones that stick the most...are those born of a natural consequence.
Johnny leaves a nearly full jug of milk out on the counter? Johnny will be paying you $2.50 to replace that milk. Johnny's also not likely to do that again...because he felt the hurt of that $2.50...that he WAS saving to buy a new video game.
The difference between my situation and this mom's situation is that I homeschool. If I tell my child to get their lunch together for the park picnic we're having today & they do something else instead; then they won't eat until we get home. I have the ability to enforce my consequence because I'm with my child.
I'm not a bit surprised that the school chose not to honor the mom's request. I am beyond angry that they made the decision to tell the child that what his mom did was illegal. It was not anything close to illegal and for that I think the school SHOULD apologize! I think they should go TO THE SON & tell him that mom wasn't doing anything illegal. They were wrong. He should listen to mom.
How hard would that be?
I don't think that I would have actually expected the school to honor such a request, though. I would have told Johnny that he had to pay for his lunch since he didn't get his lunch together. If he had the cash, it would come out of that. If not, I'd loan him the money and he'd pay me back...with interest. THEN it would be JOHNNY'S choice to feel the hurt of spending his own money on his lunch or to feel the hurt of not eating lunch. There would be nothing for mom to ask the school to do. If the school told Johnny that he MUST eat, then he would be required to purchase the lunch with his own money.
If you choose to have your child educated by someone else, whether that be a private or a public school, then you have to accept that you have given up your right to parent your child during a part of the day. As such, you'll have to alter the consequences accordingly should your child disobey. You might have to get more creative with your discipline, but you can still find a way to have Johnny feel the consequences of his actions...while not expecting the school to play an active part in his discipline.