CHERRY HILL, N.J. (WFLA/NBC) – A plan to deny food to students with lunch debt is sparking controversy in New Jersey.
NBC News reports the Cherry Hill School District’s Board of Education has faced pushback since an Aug. 13 meeting when Assistant Superintendent Lynn Shugars proposed giving tuna sandwiches to students who had a more than $10 in lunch debt. Students who owe more than $20 would be denied lunch altogether.
Shugars said the district chose a tuna sandwich for children with more than $10 in debt “because we know that our little ones would probably very happily eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches until the end of time,”
Many including teachers are not happy with this idea.
“Being a teacher for 7 years I would give students lunch money if they needed because I wanted to make sure they were fed.” said teacher Kristen Tempera. “They get irritable, and they’ll constantly, you know, they’ll say it, ‘I’m hungry, my stomach hurts,’ they’ll want to go get a drink of water, they’ll want to go to bathroom.”
District leaders, citing a New Jersey state law which requires written notification to families before denying students food.