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Forgetting their lunch money at Cleveland Hill schools will not buy students a lot of sympathy under a proposed new policy being reviewed by the School Board.

If approved next month, the policy would limit the number of times students can charge a lunch and could leave older students going hungry until they pay up.

At least one parent thinks the policy is unfair.

"There's something philosophically wrong when I pay part of my taxes so some kids can have free lunches and then my kid is denied a lunch because he owes $2.60," said Judy Eckle, the parent of a seventh-grader who was turned away without a lunch earlier this week.

Eckle was referring to the federal free and reduced lunch program available to economically disadvantaged families. The policy would apply only to students not in the program who either pay cash or use their prepaid lunch card.

Pupils in kindergarten through fifth grade who run out of funds on their card or forget their lunch money would be allowed to charge a lunch up to three times and then receive an "alternative lunch" any time after that. The proposed policy for sixth through 12th grades is stricter, with students allowed only one charged lunch plus one alternative meal.

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