A local school’s decision on possible punishment for unpaid school lunch debts is receiving mixed reactions from parents and caregivers.
According to ABC11, G.C. Hawley Middle School in Creedmoor sent an email to parents this week, saying that students with unpaid lunch bills will be excluded from select end-of-year “fun” activities.
The email caught parents, like Stephanie Gerardi, off-guard. “It’s teaching the kids that they don’t get to participate if they don’t have money,” Gerardi said.
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In defense, Principal Dr. Kerry Chisnall said, “These amounts vary from $1 to $241 in some instances. However, the sum total owed is large and unfortunately, the cafeteria folks bill the school, meaning I have to use funds intended for supporting staff and students to pay student lunch bills.”
Currently, the school has 40-50 students with unpaid lunch bills.
Granville County Schools associate superintendent Stan Winborne stated that although the school can move forward with this punishment, that’s not the desired resolution.
“We may, in fact, exclude some children from participating in some of these fun activities into the year until we’ve heard from parents,” Winborne said. “It’s just an effort to try to encourage our families to help us take care of these bills so that our local taxpayers don’t have to rely on clearing this up. These are unbudgeted expenses that the school district faces.”
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