School Tells Kids: Pay Lunch Money or Face Foster Care

  • 07/23/2019 12:00 AM
  • Source: AAN
  • by: AAN Staff
School Tells Kids: Pay Lunch Money or Face Foster Care
By U.S. Department of Agriculture (20111013-OC-UNK-0005) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0) or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A Pennsylvania government school district is threatening to have children taken away from their parents over unpaid lunch tabs that come out to $20 each.

The letter from the Wyoming Valley West School District, sent to around 1,000 parents, warns "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 total amount of unpaid lunches is $20,000.

Both Luzerne County's manager and child welfare agency director rebuked the school district, calling the letter "troubling and a misrepresentation of how the Children and Youth Services Department and its foster care program operate," the Associated Press report.

The school district reacted by blaming parents for expressing concern over having their kids taken.

'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," Wyoming Valley West's lawyer, Charles Coslett, tells the AP.

School officials will send a follow-up letter they claim is less threatening, but also say they plan to not only take parents to court but will consider seeking liens against property.

The Wyoming Valley West School District is one of the poorer in Pennsylvania. Next year all students will qualify for federally-provided "free" lunches.
 
 Source: AAN
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