School district could take parents to court for unpaid lunch debt

9 months 4 weeks 1 day ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 5:52:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
By: Stephanie Sandoval, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

ASHLAND - The Southern Boone School Board is taking a new approach on unpaid school lunches. 

Parents not paying for their children’s school lunch could face small claims court or other consequences.

School Board President Barrett Glascock said, "Some parents just don't pay, so we're going to try to go after that.” 

Right now there are around 70 families who owe approximately $30,000 to the Southern Boone County R-1 School District, according to Southern Boone Superintendent Chris Felmlee. The lunch debt is an annual problem for the school district.

A new policy that went into effect Monday says parents with unpaid meal charges will not be able to attend certain events such as graduation ceremonies. The school district said they will take a family to court if their unpaid school lunch balance hits $500. However, if parents file a payment plan with the school district, they will be able to attend all of the events and avoid court.  

"I think in the past there's been a hands off approach," Felmlee said. "There's really been no consequence."

Felmlee said they are not punishing the students. Every student can still get lunch under the new policy.

This policy does not affect families that already receive government assistance to pay for food. This only affects the families that refuse to pay. Glascock said if families don't qualify for Free and Reduced lunch, the district will come up with a payment structure to collect what they owe. 

“This time we're trying to take an approach to go after the parents," Glascock said. "We will work out a payment plan for them. They can sign up for Free and Reduced Lunch. Some of them just don't fill out the paperwork and they have to fill out the paperwork in order for it to work."

Glascock said unpaid lunch debts have been a problem for years. He said there are some parents who have not been paying for school lunches ever since their child has been in kindergarten all the way through senior year in high school.

“When it first caught our attention, we started to think about ways to maybe punish the kids if you would, to try to get them to start paying or parents to start paying, and then some community members spoke up and said, 'We shouldn't be punishing the kids, you should be punishing the parents that are not paying.'” Glascock said.

Felmlee said the school board is willing to work with families to resolve their unpaid lunch balances. 

“Hopefully I won't have to take anyone to court, but it’s a situation that can be avoided and should be avoided and we're more than willing to work with parents and families cause I know life happens,” Felmlee said. “I don't want to be a burden, but at the same time it’s really not fair to the community, to those that do pay their taxes and their fair share.”

An organizer started a funding page to erase Southern Boone's school lunch debt.  

(Editor's note: This article has been updated with more information.)

More News

Grid
List
ST. JOSEPH (AP) — A Missouri man has pleaded guilty in the fatal beating of his 77-year-old grandmother while he... More >>
1 hour ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 3:59:00 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in Continuous News
(CNN) -- The FBI is in possession of a recording between President Donald Trump and his former personal attorney Michael... More >>
1 hour ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 3:38:16 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY – House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty will resign from the Missouri House of Representatives effective Sunday in... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 12:57:00 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in Top Stories
COLE COUNTY — The Cole County Sheriff’s Department responded to possible weapons violation on Thursday night. When the officers... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 11:47:00 AM CDT July 20, 2018 in Top Stories
(AP) - President Donald Trump has indicated that he's willing to hit every product imported from China with tariffs and... More >>
8 hours ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 8:52:00 AM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
BRANSON - A press conference was held Friday morning following Thursday's fatal boat capsizing at Table Rock Lake. As... More >>
10 hours ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 7:23:00 AM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
BRANSON (AP) — The Latest on a deadly tourist boat accident in Missouri (all times local): 10:30 a.m. ... More >>
10 hours ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 7:16:00 AM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
BRANSON - The recent boat incident that killed 11 and injured seven in Branson isn't the first time Ride the... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 2:06:00 AM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Thursday evening around 9:00 pm, two cars collided head-on at the intersection of Worley St. and W. Boulevard.... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, July 19 2018 Jul 19, 2018 Thursday, July 19, 2018 11:14:00 PM CDT July 19, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A southern Missouri sheriff and a subordinate with whom he was having a romantic relationship have... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, July 19 2018 Jul 19, 2018 Thursday, July 19, 2018 10:46:00 PM CDT July 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia confirmed Friday the household hazardous waste collection is cancelled. The waste collection was... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, July 19 2018 Jul 19, 2018 Thursday, July 19, 2018 10:16:00 PM CDT July 19, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- More illnesses have been reported across the United States in two separate cyclospora outbreaks, federal health officials said... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, July 19 2018 Jul 19, 2018 Thursday, July 19, 2018 9:31:35 PM CDT July 19, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Gun-rights activists have reached a settlement with the government that... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, July 19 2018 Jul 19, 2018 Thursday, July 19, 2018 8:57:04 PM CDT July 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Loop CID met with the Planning and Zoning Committee Thursday night to discuss future plans for Business... More >>
21 hours ago Thursday, July 19 2018 Jul 19, 2018 Thursday, July 19, 2018 7:46:00 PM CDT July 19, 2018 in News
DES MOINES, Iowa - Pella Regional Health Center spokeswoman Billie Rhamy confirmed Thursday evening injuries were minor and all patients... More >>
22 hours ago Thursday, July 19 2018 Jul 19, 2018 Thursday, July 19, 2018 6:49:00 PM CDT July 19, 2018 in Continuous News
(CNN) - President Donald Trump hopes to welcome Russian President Vladimir Putin in Washington this fall, White House press secretary... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, July 19 2018 Jul 19, 2018 Thursday, July 19, 2018 5:09:00 PM CDT July 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Planned Parenthood advocates demonstrated a mock health care waiting room in Governor Parson's office Thursday. The... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, July 19 2018 Jul 19, 2018 Thursday, July 19, 2018 4:16:00 PM CDT July 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley has charged a former Greenville city clerk with stealing more than... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, July 19 2018 Jul 19, 2018 Thursday, July 19, 2018 3:07:00 PM CDT July 19, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 91°
6pm 91°
7pm 89°
8pm 86°
9pm 82°