Anoka-Hennepin School District Lunch Plan: Sounds like common sense, but it isn’t

The Anoka-Hennepin School District has a plan designed to ensure that all students, regardless of ability to pay, do not miss a school lunch.

The district has hired a collection agency to deal with up to 370 families with lunch accounts in arrears.  That sounds reasonable.  However, the district will also prohibit children of families owing $50 or more from attending some extra curricular activities.  That is not reasonable.

Children should not be subjected to this sort penalty.  They have no control over their parents’ decisions — or maybe more consequentially — their parents ability to pay.

School is difficult enough for most children.  For many just fitting in is a distracting challenge.  Singling out children for the errors or status of their parents is wrong-headed.  It shames the child when the child has no control.

I would hope the school district would both responsibly and respectfully pursue collections of overdue payments, but if they target children as part of the collection process I am not so sure we can trust that this will be the case.

In a better world, taxpayers would support free lunches for all as part of the school program and be done with it.  Maybe some day…

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