This School District Threatened To Take Kids Away From Parents Over Lunch Debt. Then It Refused a Businessman's Offer to Pay Those Debts

Boehm, Eric
Date Written:  2019-07-25
Publisher:  Reason
Year Published:  2019
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX23754

A Pennsylvania school district sent letters to parents who owed lunch money informing them that they could lose custody of their children due to their lunch money debt.



Wyoming Valley West School District sent letters to parents with at least $10 in unpaid lunch costs threatening to place their children in foster care if the bills weren't paid. The district tried to justify the threats by pointing out that it was trying to collect more than $22,000 in unpaid lunch costs—a fraction of its $80 million annual budget—and that some families owed as much as $450.

Sending children to school without lunch or money to buy lunch, the letter informed parents, counted as "a failure to provide your child with proper nutrition...."

The school district's stance only got more absurd when it initially rejected a Philadelphia businessman's offer to settle the full $22,000 debt on behalf of Wyoming Valley West parents.
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