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Fourth-Grader Hires Lawyer

March 12, 1999

ALCOA, Tenn. (AP) _ Some fourth-graders just complain about their lunchroom food. Ryan Rose got a lawyer.

Fed up with pinto beans, cornbread and salad, 10-year-old Ryan hired Monte Walton to fight for better fare on the Alcoa Elementary School menu.

``Me and my friends got mad because there was not anything to eat,″ he said.

Walton, a lawyer in Knoxville, employs Ryan’s mother as a paralegal.

``I told him for the magnanimous sum of $1, I would represent him,″ Walton said. ``I had a lot of respect for him and his classmates to call me.″

Walton drew up a petition, and Ryan is collecting signatures.

Walton said his client is protesting a 50-cent price increase, week-old leftovers, cold food that should be hot, and a lack of ``good stuff.″

``I think we’ll see if we can’t resolve it amicably,″ possibly by adding hamburgers occasionally to the menu, the lawyer said.

Lester Brown, director of the Alcoa school system, said with a laugh that he would ``wait and see what their complaint is about.″

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