NEW JERSEY– Controversy is brewing in a New Jersey school district after a policy was passed that bans students with $75 or more in lunch debt from attending extracurricular activities., field trips and prom, published reports say.
The district passed the new policy last week after suggesting giving tuna sandwiches to students who owe more than $10 in lunch fees and withholding lunches for students who have more than a $20 debt.
Assistant Superintendent Lynn Shugars told NBC News back in September, the district selected giving children who owe more than $10 a tuna sandwich, “because we know that our little ones would probably very happily eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches until the end of time,” and giving the PB&Js out for lunch would not encourage debt payments. “If we don’t adhere to our policy, we’re going to be perpetually, I feel, chasing after this problem,” Shugars said.
According to People.com, the Cherry Hill School District’s new policy forbids high school and middle school students from participating in extracurricular activities excluding athletics, buying tickets for school dances, attending class trips.. For elementary school students, they wouldn’t be allowed to attend field trips or take part in after-school activities.
Currently, more than 340 students have a balance of $10 or more, contributing to the district’s $18,000 debt.
Back in 2017, the district wiped out roughly $25,000 in lunch debt and allowed all students to start with a new $0 balance.