$100 to skip the lunch line? Some parents see 'cafeteria classism'

Leslie Hanson
August 13, 2017

A Florida school created a controversy when it sent a fundraising packet home to parents offering a $100 pass to skip the lunch line in school.

Parents were concerned about the $100 sponsorship amount, which offers people who pay that amount, their last name or business logo on their website, as well as PTSA events AND front of the lunch line pass. For one thing, numerous kids in the school are food-insecure (a polite way of saying that they don't always get enough food to eat), so telling poor families that they can pay an extra hundred bucks for special food access is at once insensitive and insulting, says parent Chris Stephenson.

"This definitely hits home for me and I am very upset about it", Brian Andrews, the principal of Lawton Chiles Middle Academy said. "This addition including front of the lunch line was not approved by me, and our school goes above and beyond to be inclusive of all students". The program has, understandably, caused outrage among numerous parents at the school.

Stephenson, who shared the form to Facebook, also spoke to News Channel 8 about the incident, saying, "It's like, 'I have money, I'm in the front of line now".

"With middle school already being a very contentious age, with hormones and everything else, the last thing you really want to do is add a food hierarchy on top of that", he told WFLA.

"What we do behind these walls I truly believe we are for all kids and we will continue to do that", Andrews said.

"This fundraiser will not be taking place at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy", Andrews said in an email to parents.

The document was accidentally placed in orientation packets, and the principal never signed off for it, the PTSA said.

"There was much brainstorming among the group to find ways to generate funds", Andrews told Fox News. Again mistakes are made, but I think how the mistakes are recovered are important. "We just want to get it right, move forward, and apologize".

PTSA said the "program offered" was a clerical mistake and has released a statement to WXYZ regarding the form.

"We look to strive for new and innovative fundraising ideas to enhance the school experience for our students". We offer a variety of fundraising options for our students and families to choose from each year.

Some were outraged that students would get special privileges if their family could afford them. This Family and Business Sponsorship program was explored, but we made a decision to not implement.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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