School Lunch Debt Sparks Outrage

| May 9, 2013
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Some parents in Carrollton are angered by the school district’s handling of outstanding meal charge balances.  Parents took to Facebook to express their discontent with the district’s handling of outstanding bills.  Residents claim the students were humiliated in the cafeteria.

Click to hear KMZU’s Chelsea Wade speak with Superintendent Judith DeLany:

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In an attempt to get parents caught up on their balance, DeLany said the district does not allow any additional charges at the end of the school year.  Starting Wednesday, if there was an outstanding balance on a student’s account, they were offered an alternative meal of a cheese sandwich, fruit, and milk.

The school district sent out at least two alerts earlier this month and a letter home with students reminding parents about bills.  DeLany said building principals also warned students before going into the cafeteria if they were required to eat a cold meal.

Parents took to social media after the practice was enacted.  Some have threatened to appeal to the State.  DeLany said the district did clear the policy before putting it into practice.

“We visited with our people at the State level.  We’ve talked about it before to make sure as we were doing this that it was the right thing to do and they said yes.  Anyone who wants to share a concern at the State level, that’s fine,” said DeLany. “We would hope that if they had a concern about it that they would let us know first.”

Some parents claim their children had their lunches “jerked away”.  DeLany conceded this might have happened if the student was told to take an alternate meal and attempted to purchase a hot meal, but she said this would have occurred on a limited basis.

DeLany refuted claims that Wednesday’s practice was bullying. “I guess they would call every school district in the State and the Nation a bully.  It’s not bullying.”

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