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PA: School District Warns Parents Their Kids Could Be Taken Away Over Unpaid Lunches

360 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  KILTED COWBOY
July 19, 2019

KINGSTON, Pa. (AP) – A Pennsylvania school district is warning that children could end up in foster care if their parents do not pay overdue school lunch bills. The letters sent recently to about 1,000 parents in Wyoming Valley West School District have led to complaints from parents and a stern rebuke from Luzerne County child welfare authorities.

The district says that it is trying to collect more than $20,000, and that other methods to get parents to pay have not been successful. Four parents owe at least $450 apiece.

The letter claims the unpaid bills could lead to dependency hearings and removal of their children for not providing them with food.

“You can be sent to dependency court for neglecting your child’s right to food. The result may be your child being taken from your home and placed in foster care,” the letter read.

After complaints, district officials announced they plan to send out a less threatening letter next week.

Luzerne County’s manager and child welfare agency director have written the superintendent, insisting the district stop making what they call false claims.

Their letter calls the district’s actions troubling and a misrepresentation of how the Children and Youth Services Department and its foster care program operate.

Wyoming Valley West’s lawyer, Charles Coslett, said he did not consider the letters to be threatening.

“Hopefully, that gets their attention and it certainly did, didn’t it? I mean, if you think about it, you’re here this morning because some parents cried foul because he or she doesn’t want to pay a debt attributed to feeding their kids. How shameful,” Coslett told WYOU-TV.

The district’s federal programs director, Joseph Muth, told WNEP-TV the district had considered serving peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to students with delinquent accounts but received legal advice warning against it.

School district officials say they plan to pursue other legal avenues to get the lunch money, such as filing a district court complaint or placing liens on properties.

For the coming year, the district will qualify for funding to provide free lunches to all students.

The district underwrote free lunches for four elementary and middle schools during the 2018-19 year, and WNEP-TV said school officials suspect some parents did not pay their lunch bills as a form of protest.
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How about schools not provide lunches at all and put that responsibility BACK where it belongs - on the parents. I packed a lunch every day, along with a thermos of milk, snack etc.
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That county director and child welfare person is sure to complain. Not going to want the extra work load if it can be avoided.
Most places in the USA have a variety of programs and places to obtain food or money for food. Not providing your child with lunch from home if needed is just laziness for many I suspect. And no I do not care about any so called social stigma about lunches from home.
Most places in the USA have a variety of programs and places to obtain food or money for food. Not providing your child with lunch from home if needed is just laziness for many I suspect. And no I do not care about any so called social stigma about lunches from home.
Many schools ban homemade lunches. They need the revenue from those who can pay to support the free lunches from those who cannot - socialism in its infancy.
How come those rich "social warriors" that are sooooo preoccupied about the standard of living of the poor, do not pony up the money to pay those school lunches? After all $20,000 is a spit in the bucket for a lot of them...........................
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I've watched this school lunch thing every school day for a lot of years. 1st, there is an incredible amount of waste because, even if they don't want it every child is required to to be given and to take a carton of milk and a piece of fruit. Much of that goes into the trash can. 2nd, you can easily spot the kids that REALLY don't get enough to eat at home. They are eating everything on their tray and anything they can get from others and putting anything they can't eat in their pockets. 3rd, Every kid gets a lunch. Some get free or reduced price lunches IF their parents have filled out the paperwork or at least made an "X" on the signature line. Those that don't have the paperwork done or who owe money get a sack lunch which is a sandwich and other stuff plus the milk and fruit. IF they are hungry they will get plenty from their friends. 4th, in Texas, we now also serve breakfast with the same criteria as lunches, plus kids can come to school in the mornings during the summer and get a breakfast. Our people would make a home visit to get free and reduced paperwork signed.

If this school system up in PA is having to resort to extortion to get paid then some administrator is not doing their job. The money is there, the food is in abundance and most of the country is obese.

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My mom sent me to school with a bologna sandwich on white bread, a piece of fruit, and a ring ding every day from 1st grade till I was 16.
As soon as I get a part time job I bought my own lunch.
To this day I cannot eat a bologna on white bread sandwich.
Now fried bologna, that is another story. Yum!
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