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Kids can skip lunch lines for $100; parents outraged
13 August 2017, 09:59 | Rodolfo Wallace
Florida School Proposes Letting Rich Kids Cut to the Front of the Lunch Line & Outrage Ensues
"This definitely hits home for me and I am very upset about it", Brian Andrews, the principal of Lawton Chiles Middle Academy said.
Parents in Lakeland, Florida, are outraged over a PTSA sponsorship program introduced this year that would allow parents to essentially buy their children "front of the lunch line" passes for $100. Dad Chris Stephenson, who told ABC Action News it was "not okay" for certain kids to be able to get their lunch first based on what their parents pay.
"You've got those who can pay and those who can't", said an angry parent, who felt students whose parents couldn't afford to pay $100 would be disrespected and open to ridicule.
The letter, however, evoked a sharp response from parents who slammed it as promoting "cafeteria classism".
"Polk County has a very high rate of food insecurity when it comes to kids".
"(The PTSA) which operates independently from the school financially, however, can not make school decisions without the principal's approval", Brian Andrews, principal of the school, told Fox News.
"Nobody is a second-class citizen here, and I would encourage anybody to speak to parents that have been here", Andrews said.
In a statement, PTSA president Jil Bevis blamed the incident on a "clerical error".
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"We look to strive to look for new and innovative fundraising ideas to enhance the school experience for our students".
The PTSA says the letter ended up in the hands of hundreds of students "due to a clerical error"-saying, "This Family and Business Sponsorship program was explored, but we decided not to implement it".
A Florida school included a fundraising document in the students' orientation packets that caused a ruckus among parents.
Titled "Family and Business Sponsors, the form stated that the PTSA was looking for 'local families and business to partner with" during the school year.
Stephenson's post helped bring the form to the attention of Principal Bryan Andrews, who said he was not aware of and did not approve the fundraiser.
"What we do behind these walls, I truly believe we are for all kids, and we will continue to do that", said Andrews.
The sponsorship program was created by the PTSA at the Lawton Chiles Middle Academy in an effort to raise funds for the school. "I think it was brainstorming on their part, unfortunately, it needs to be approved by me, however it seems like this didn't pass my desk", he wrote, News Channel 8reports. "Our families have been notified this programme is not being offered", it said.
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