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Sugar Cookie

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A Pennsylvania school district sent letters to parents threatening that their children could end up in foster care if the students' lunch tabs aren't paid.

Five of the nine members of the Wyoming Valley West School Board criticized the letter, WNEP reports, but the district's solicitor has doubled down, claiming some parents need the threat of losing their kids to get them to pay up.

School officials said the district has collected more than $500 of the $22,000 owed in lunch money since the controversial letter was sent.

Some anonymous donors have chipped in.

Board members said they were blindsided by the letter's threatening language.


Wyoming Valley West School Board Vice President David Usavage said he cringes at the letter's warning: "the result may be your child being taken from your home and placed in foster care."


"The foster care issue, that just had me," said Usavage. "I couldn't believe that that's what it said."

Wyoming Valley West solicitor Charlie Coslett stands by the letter. Coslett said he's forced 50 families to dependency court for truancy where parents risked having their children placed in foster care because their kids kept skipping school.

"Failure to properly provide for your minor child's nutritional needs, certainly on the scale of relativity, seems to be a more serious offense," said Coslett.

Critics say if a parent doesn't pay a child's lunch bill, it doesn't mean kids are malnourished. By law, the schools must feed them no matter how much their families owe.

"This to me is terrorizing children and families. And it was just so unnecessary," Luzerne County Children and Youth Services director Joanne Van Saun said.

Van Saun says the letter wrongly assumes all families can pay. She pointed to a letter sent to a mother who owed $75.

"Where did that $75 go? Is it going to cigarettes? Is it going to alcohol? We don't know. That's right, we don't know that," Coslett added.

Wyoming Valley West board members believe the district should continue efforts to collect more than $22,000 that is still owed.

The Wyoming Valley West School Board now qualifies for enough money to provide free lunches to all students for the upcoming school year.

This year, the district gave free lunches to four elementary and middle schools, and officials think some parents did not pay as a form of protest.
 

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Keepalowprofile

Water is for people that don't have coffee.
Bold Member!
No fucking way.

.
Wyoming Valley West solicitor Charlie Coslett stands by the letter. Coslett said he's forced 50 families to dependency court for truancy where parents risked having their children placed in foster care because their kids kept skipping school.
Absolutely different.

.
"Failure to properly provide for your minor child's nutritional needs, certainly on the scale of relativity, seems to be a more serious offense," said Coslett.
If a child hasn't missed a meal then no laws were broken.


I hate this guy. I really do.
 
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Sejanus

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Debtors Prison has a new twist.

Honestly the knee jerk assumption that $75 dollars went to booze, drugs, smokes or whatever is offensive. Some of these no doubt or single parent families that are struggling to make ends meet.

Addictions do not always play a part in not paying a bill. Sometimes it is a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul because there simply are not enough dollars to go around for the pressing bills. Anyone who has lived under crippling debt knows this. It is not fun, nor is it someone's poor choices all the time.

The communication is abhorrent. Does some type of pressure need to be exerted?
Depends on each case I would think. Possibly have some type of silent confidential Review Committee take a look at each case. Collect some data from each family and make decisions from there. Then open it up to the community to make donations to help support members of the area that are falling shy in self-sustaining.

Shaming this way is count productive. Imagine what it does to the child!
Keep in mind, I am a heartless monster yet can see compassion is needed here.
 
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Muriel Schwenck

polyracial ecosexual
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Why weren't the parents paying the lunch tabs or packing a lunch? It is not made clear.
I won't accept the kneejerk answers that parents who are not paying are frittering away their money or are all too poor. That exists but there is also of shirking on lunch bills because people know they can get away with it.
The collection approach had the subtlety of a cinder block in that single sentence but I wonder what went on before and how many collection letters were unanswered.
The article stated that some parents were not paying out of protest that a few schools in the district were offering free lunch, but I wonder how many of those parents actually voiced protest via letter, email, or phone.
It's not all on the school district.
 

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Babs

Trusted Member
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The oversight on this communication to those parents is disgusting. 5 out of 9 school board members criticized the letter (apparently they were not given the opportunity to review it prior to distribution - but why?), the school administrator signed the letter but now says "...it could have been toned down a notch". Then why the fuck did he sign it without revision? And why didn't he communicate with the school board about this letter being sent out? The solicitor's reasons for the threats are inadequate and presumptuous. Get your shit together, assholes.
 

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Debtors Prison has a new twist.

Honestly the knee jerk assumption that $75 dollars went to booze, drugs, smokes or whatever is offensive. Some of these no doubt or single parent families that are struggling to make ends meet.

Addictions do not always play a part in not paying a bill. Sometimes it is a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul because there simply are not enough dollars to go around for the pressing bills. Anyone who has lived under crippling debt knows this. It is not fun, nor is it someone's poor choices all the time.

The communication is abhorrent. Does some type of pressure need to be exerted?
Depends on each case I would think. Possibly have some type of silent confidential Review Committee take a look at each case. Collect some data from each family and make decisions from there. Then open it up to the community to make donations to help support members of the area that are falling shy in self-sustaining.

Shaming this way is count productive. Imagine what it does to the child!
Keep in mind, I am a heartless monster yet can see compassion is needed here.
I myself just a few days ago had to choose between rent and groceries. Thank God for my daughter. SHE paid the rent this month, albeit two weeks late. And I still had to use $200 of that money for superfluous items like toilet paper and milk.
 

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Sejanus

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I myself just a few days ago had to choose between rent and groceries. Thank God for my daughter. SHE paid the rent this month, albeit two weeks late. And I still had to use $200 of that money for superfluous items like toilet paper and milk.
Toilet paper?
Why la dee dah...
Just look at Ms High Society!
I suppose you even use fresh water to flush!

Migod what is with you people?.
Next you will expect unused food when you buy your groceries!
;):D:bag:
 

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