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Old 07-19-2019, 01:42 PM
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Way to go Wyoming Valley West (Pa.) School District!


That thread title is sarcasm: Parents told they could lose kids over unpaid school lunches
Quote:
A Pennsylvania school district is warning that children could end up in foster care if their parents do not pay overdue school lunch bills.

The letters sent recently to about 1,000 parents in Wyoming Valley West School District have led to complaints from parents and a stern rebuke from Luzerne County child welfare authorities.

The district says that it is trying to collect more than $20,000, and that other methods to get parents to pay have not been successful. Four parents owe at least $450 apiece.

The letter claims the unpaid bills could lead to dependency hearings and removal of their children for not providing them with food.

“You can be sent to dependency court for neglecting your child’s right to food. The result may be your child being taken from your home and placed in foster care,” the letter read.


What. The. FUCK?
Quote:
Wyoming Valley West’s lawyer, Charles Coslett, said he did not consider the letters to be threatening.

“Hopefully, that gets their attention and it certainly did, didn’t it? I mean, if you think about it, you’re here this morning because some parents cried foul because he or she doesn’t want to pay a debt attributed to feeding their kids. How shameful,” Coslett told WYOU-TV.
Real fucking winner of a human being, eh.

All this over an amount less than what Jeff Bezos makes before lunch every day. Our wealth distribution is fucked up like that lawyer's priorities & ethics are fucked up.

What the ever-loving fuck have we done to our country?

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 07-19-2019 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 07-19-2019, 02:14 PM
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The biggest crime in the country today is to be poor. To paraphrase one of this board's posters, "Why should I have to pay more taxes so that somebody who sits around smoking weed all day gets free health care?" Money = character to too many.
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Old 07-19-2019, 02:29 PM
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What the ever-loving fuck have we done to our country?
I hope you ain't insinuating shit like this is something new. The US has always been a fucked-up chudfest, ever since the bourgeois temper-tantrum that led to its founding.
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Old 07-19-2019, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
All this over an amount less than what Jeff Bezos makes before lunch every day.
That late? I'd imagine he makes more than that in the time it takes just squeezing toothpaste onto his toothbrush. Or whoever (or whatever) it is that does it for him.
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Old 07-19-2019, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Red Wiggler View Post
The biggest crime in the country today is to be poor. To paraphrase one of this board's posters, "Why should I have to pay more taxes so that somebody who sits around smoking weed all day gets free health care?" Money = character to too many.
I can't tell what your point is relative to this particular incident. Are you saying it's the delinquent parents who are poor, or the delinquent parents who have a "Why should I have to pay?" attitude?
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Old 07-19-2019, 02:53 PM
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Why isn't school lunch all lumped into tuition or the whole cost to begin with? Is it so parents who want to feed their kids home-packed lunches don't have to double-pay?
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Old 07-19-2019, 03:01 PM
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Why isn't school lunch all lumped into tuition or the whole cost to begin with? Is it so parents who want to feed their kids home-packed lunches don't have to double-pay?
This is a public school district—what tuition?

When I was in school, kids had the option of buying lunch there or bringing a lunch from home.
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Old 07-19-2019, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
All this over an amount less than what Jeff Bezos makes before lunch every day. Our wealth distribution is fucked up like that lawyer's priorities & ethics are fucked up.
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Originally Posted by DCnDC View Post
That late? I'd imagine he makes more than that in the time it takes just squeezing toothpaste onto his toothbrush. Or whoever (or whatever) it is that does it for him.
According to Money magazine, Bezos makes something like $3,182 per second, so in less than 10 seconds he's made enough to cover the debt. Not that this helps the school district or the delinquent parents, since I'm sure he has no knowledge of the issue nor is he likely to care if he did.
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Old 07-19-2019, 04:10 PM
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I understand the outrage about taking kids away for unpaid bills.

However, who do you all think is going to pay for lunches if the parents don't? Money just falls from the skies? They're $20K in the hole here. I guess they can just stop providing lunches.

And WTF does Jeff Bezos have to do with this discussion? Does he have kids in the district? Does he owe $450? Is he just supposed to pay for everyone's lunch...because?

Last edited by Just Asking Questions; 07-19-2019 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 07-19-2019, 04:58 PM
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Let's see what the school district might have done:

1. Might have done some research to find out why parents aren't paying. Is it because they are truly too poor, or is it because they are using poor judgment about spending money.

1a. If they are truly too poor, consider finding alternative methods of funding lunch.

1b. If the parents are making poor choices, consider ways to help them learn how to do better.

2. Might have just said "to continue to get a lunch, by X date every kid must be paid up, or there must be a plan in place so that the kid is paid up by Y date. Otherwise, after X date no more lunches from the school."

2a. This would result in kids going hungry, probably, but not all of the currently unpaid ones. How many outliers left? If it's a manageable number, work out individual plans.

2b. If it's not a manageable number, see 1a.

There are surely lots of ways the district might have gone about this. In any case, the district might have applied some thought to the problem, instead of setting up families for failure and then hitting them with a hammer for it.
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Old 07-19-2019, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Just Asking Questions View Post
...
However, who do you all think is going to pay for lunches if the parents don't? Money just falls from the skies? ...

And WTF does Jeff Bezos have to do with this discussion? Does he have kids in the district? Does he owe $450? Is he just supposed to pay for everyone's lunch...because?
Username/Post combo!
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Old 07-19-2019, 05:22 PM
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I'm a 57 year old white guy with zero kids and I don't make a large amount of money, but I'm more than happy to pay sufficient taxes to feed all of the school children a decent meal. Hell, give them breakfast too while we're at it.

Without trying to figure out and correct all of the possible reasons - or assigning blame - as to why they're not being provided by the parents.

Let's knock off all this judgmental hand-wringing about how bad the parents must be and just do the right thing here.
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Old 07-19-2019, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Just Asking Questions View Post
I understand the outrage about taking kids away for unpaid bills.

However, who do you all think is going to pay for lunches if the parents don't? Money just falls from the skies? They're $20K in the hole here. I guess they can just stop providing lunches.
Fair point. We should save money by removing them from their families via a court case and putting them in long-term foster care.
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Old 07-19-2019, 10:07 PM
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Fair point. We should save money by removing them from their families via a court case and putting them in long-term foster care.
You notice I said I was against removing kids? Apparently not.

So who are you expecting to pay for these lunches?
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Old 07-19-2019, 10:23 PM
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So who are you expecting to pay for these lunches?
People who can afford it.

That is, all of us, as a group, with people who can afford more contributing more to the pool.


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Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
Why isn't school lunch all lumped into tuition or the whole cost to begin with? Is it so parents who want to feed their kids home-packed lunches don't have to double-pay?
What are you talking about? There’s no tuition fee in public schools. Or do you mean that the taxes used to fund the school should be set to also cover lunch?
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Old 07-20-2019, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Just Asking Questions View Post
You notice I said I was against removing kids? Apparently not.

So who are you expecting to pay for these lunches?
I saw you said that. So why do you keep asking this question like it's relevant?

It's not.

That said, I'll answer it, because I know how this works:
1) The school nutrition program may have majorly fallen down on the job of distributing free/reduced lunch applications. The combination of the massive debt they've built up and their outrageous "we'll take your children if you're too poor" attitude makes me think this is likely. They should be far more proactive in getting those apps out and ensuring that people know how to fill them out.
2) Some parents still won't fill out the form, or may not qualify but also won't pay. They should reach out to these parents early. They may have done so.
3) If parents don't pay, referring them to a collections agency is a less-than-ideal approach, but doesn't involve committing mail fraud.
4) If they can't collect, funds come out of the district's operating budget.
5) This is a really easy fundraising ask. Reach out to local houses of worship first.

It's not like these fools are the first folks to encounter this problem. They're just the first (AFAIK) to hit on this particularly egregious "solution."
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Old 07-20-2019, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Just Asking Questions View Post
You notice I said I was against removing kids? Apparently not.

So who are you expecting to pay for these lunches?
Let's see - they could just provide the lunches to everyone for free and pay for it out of the budget , as some districts do. Or they could look into whether the district qualifies to serve lunches to everyone paid for by the USDA*. Or they could let the students with no money go hungry - which is still better than threatening foster care and taking up the time of child protective workers , who will not put the kids in foster care for an unpaid lunch bill anyway.







* Because at some point, processing the applications in a low income district becomes more expensive than providing lunches to the few who don't qualify for free lunch.

Last edited by doreen; 07-20-2019 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 07-20-2019, 08:59 AM
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A lot of school districts around here have opened up the income-based free-lunch program to all students, regardless of need. Why did they do that? Because it turns out that it's actually cheaper to do it that way. Most of the money going into the free-lunch program wasn't actually going towards food; it was going towards bureaucracy to determine who was allowed to get food. Cut the bureaucracy, and you can feed everyone for less than you were spending to feed a small fraction.

Which doesn't, of course, stop people from complaining about all that money "wasted" by giving it to everyone.
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Old 07-20-2019, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Just Asking Questions View Post
I understand the outrage about taking kids away for unpaid bills.

However, who do you all think is going to pay for lunches if the parents don't? Money just falls from the skies? They're $20K in the hole here. I guess they can just stop providing lunches.

And WTF does Jeff Bezos have to do with this discussion? Does he have kids in the district? Does he owe $450? Is he just supposed to pay for everyone's lunch...because?
Maybe we could find ways to support school lunch programs. If parents are too stingy to pay for lunches, it's probably more than just a philosophical objection to paying for a child's lunch. Despite our economic growth, much of this country - including many of the people who can't afford private school - remains economically distressed. Threatening to take children away because they're in economic distress doesn't feed children and it doesn't remove the economic stressors that are apparently causing the problems in the first place.

Jeff Bezos has nothing to do with the school district, but his obscene wealth and those of the billionaire class are symbols of the gross class disparities that exist in this country. And maybe considering all the problems that Bezos has had with Trump, now might be a good time to consider why ordinary people voted against their own interests and put that bozo in office. For many people, voting for Trump was a middle finger to people like Jeff Bezos.
  #20  
Old 07-20-2019, 10:26 AM
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For many people, voting for Trump was a middle finger to people like Jeff Bezos.
Like I said back in February 2016, voting for Trump was a big "fuck you" to a system that isn't working for most Americans.
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Old 07-20-2019, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Just Asking Questions View Post
You notice I said I was against removing kids? Apparently not.

So who are you expecting to pay for these lunches?
And what do you propose -- just let the kids go hungry?

Please sir, can I have some more?
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Old 07-20-2019, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
I saw you said that. So why do you keep asking this question like it's relevant?

It's not.

That said, I'll answer it, because I know how this works:
1) The school nutrition program may have majorly fallen down on the job of distributing free/reduced lunch applications. The combination of the massive debt they've built up and their outrageous "we'll take your children if you're too poor" attitude makes me think this is likely. They should be far more proactive in getting those apps out and ensuring that people know how to fill them out.
2) Some parents still won't fill out the form, or may not qualify but also won't pay. They should reach out to these parents early. They may have done so.
3) If parents don't pay, referring them to a collections agency is a less-than-ideal approach, but doesn't involve committing mail fraud.
4) If they can't collect, funds come out of the district's operating budget.
5) This is a really easy fundraising ask. Reach out to local houses of worship first.

It's not like these fools are the first folks to encounter this problem. They're just the first (AFAIK) to hit on this particularly egregious "solution."
It's also possible that the powers that be encourage children to ring up ala carte items like extra cookies and ice cream on their account and then the parents are responsible. And while it's certainly on the parents to set boundaries for the kid's spending, I know the automatic system my son's school uses doesn't let me see an itemized list of his charges--so I don't know really know where the money is going. I didn't know he COULD buy ala carte items until he mentioned casually one day he'd had an extra cookie. We certainly didn't have that option in Kinder.
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Old 07-20-2019, 03:29 PM
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And what do you propose -- just let the kids go hungry?

Please sir, can I have some more?
Excellent point. Why don't you send them $450 to cover one of those most in arrears? We know from your post that you are righteosly indignant. Now is the moment for you to pony up some cash and peckerslap us that you are no mere poseur.
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Old 07-20-2019, 03:31 PM
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I'm surprised there are this many posters who can't tell the difference between filing a lawsuit to take kids from homes and sending a letter threatening to file a lawsuit to take kids from homes.

Can y'all stop acting like anyone went to court? Or that there's any actual intention to do so?

It's as if you don't understand what an empty threat is.
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Old 07-20-2019, 03:55 PM
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A lot of school districts around here have opened up the income-based free-lunch program to all students, regardless of need. Why did they do that? Because it turns out that it's actually cheaper to do it that way. Most of the money going into the free-lunch program wasn't actually going towards food; it was going towards bureaucracy to determine who was allowed to get food. Cut the bureaucracy, and you can feed everyone for less than you were spending to feed a small fraction.

Which doesn't, of course, stop people from complaining about all that money "wasted" by giving it to everyone.
Rather analogous to the economics of universal health care, and some of the regressive and ignorant attitudes against it.
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Old 07-20-2019, 04:05 PM
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I'm surprised there are this many posters who can't tell the difference between filing a lawsuit to take kids from homes and sending a letter threatening to file a lawsuit to take kids from homes.

Can y'all stop acting like anyone went to court? Or that there's any actual intention to do so?

It's as if you don't understand what an empty threat is.
It's as if you don't understand what idiocy is.
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Old 07-20-2019, 04:06 PM
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It's also possible that the powers that be encourage children to ring up ala carte items like extra cookies and ice cream on their account and then the parents are responsible.
That's possible, but if that's what it is, it's 100% on them, IMO. I know those are moneymaking schemes, but allowing a child to charge an item without explicit parent opt-in seems to me a type of unenforceable legal contract.

Our school has those a la carte items, but a kid whose account is more than like $10 in arrears can't get them, can only get a regular lunch. (I don't remember the exact amount).

This should be a trivial policy change to make.
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Old 07-20-2019, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Chessic Sense View Post
I'm surprised there are this many posters who can't tell the difference between filing a lawsuit to take kids from homes and sending a letter threatening to file a lawsuit to take kids from homes.

Can y'all stop acting like anyone went to court? Or that there's any actual intention to do so?

It's as if you don't understand what an empty threat is.
Who the fuck are you talking about? The irony in your acting like others lack understanding is too rich to bear.

I know what an empty threat is. When you threaten someone falsely in the hope that they'll believe your misinformation and give you money, there's a name for that.
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Old 07-20-2019, 04:13 PM
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I don't understand this from the OP's article:

Quote:
The district underwrote free lunches for four elementary and middle schools during the 2018-19 year, and WNEP-TV said school officials suspect some parents did not pay their lunch bills as a form of protest.
They're not paying for their kids' food because they're unhappy that the district spent money on other kids' food?
  #30  
Old 07-20-2019, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Chimera View Post
I'm a 57 year old white guy with zero kids and I don't make a large amount of money, but I'm more than happy to pay sufficient taxes to feed all of the school children a decent meal. Hell, give them breakfast too while we're at it.

Without trying to figure out and correct all of the possible reasons - or assigning blame - as to why they're not being provided by the parents.

Let's knock off all this judgmental hand-wringing about how bad the parents must be and just do the right thing here.
Kidless, and yet I pay school tax/assessments because it is part of the social contract.
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And what do you propose -- just let the kids go hungry?

Please sir, can I have some more?
For some kids, it may be the most nutritious meal they actually manage to get in a day, the poor very frequently live in food deserts and subsist on convenience foods, and cheaper foods. When I did the USDA thing for US Foodservice, we provided real foods, not just frozen pizza, nuggets and prepackaged puddings. The schools and other institutions I handled also had a budget for fresh fruit and veggies, and certain things like canned tomato sauce and frozen or canned vegetables and fruits.
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Old 07-20-2019, 04:45 PM
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Is it possible word got out they weren’t chasing poor families who fell in arrears, so like the ‘not so poor’ families felt left out and wanted their share? And that’s how this maybe got to where it is? Now the school is between a rock and a hard place, a no win position really.

Just saying there could be more to this than it seems.
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Old 07-20-2019, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by GreysonCarlisle View Post
I don't understand this from the OP's article:



They're not paying for their kids' food because they're unhappy that the district spent money on other kids' food?


Not so much that the district spent money on other kids’ food - more “ if they don’t have to pay , I’m not gonna pay”



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  #33  
Old 07-20-2019, 06:10 PM
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Is it possible word got out they weren’t chasing poor families who fell in arrears, so like the ‘not so poor’ families felt left out and wanted their share? And that’s how this maybe got to where it is? Now the school is between a rock and a hard place, a no win position really.

Just saying there could be more to this than it seems.
There could be more to it. But absent crazy hypotheticals, there is no excuse for lying about the law in order to intimidate parents.
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Old 07-21-2019, 07:03 AM
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That's possible, but if that's what it is, it's 100% on them, IMO. I know those are moneymaking schemes, but allowing a child to charge an item without explicit parent opt-in seems to me a type of unenforceable legal contract.

Our school has those a la carte items, but a kid whose account is more than like $10 in arrears can't get them, can only get a regular lunch. (I don't remember the exact amount).

This should be a trivial policy change to make.
For sure. My point is that I wouldn't put it past a district to extend credit to students to spend to raise funds, and then go after the parents for the deficit. It's totally unethical.
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Old 07-21-2019, 07:27 AM
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I understand the outrage about taking kids away for unpaid bills.
GOOD, because that's what the outrage is about.

Let me spell it out really clearly: taking my kid away would be the worst thing you could do to me. And of course, it would be even worse for him.

Threatening to do that over a relatively trivial debt is beyond the fucking pale. Frankly, it ought to be a felony to do so, absent evidence that the child needed to be protected/rescued from his/her own parents. (You can probably guess how I feel about our border policies.)

Sure, find a way to collect the damn money. But that can surely be done without threatening to take people's kids away from them. Your JAQ is bullshit, and has about as much to do with what this thread is about as Jeff Bezos does.
  #36  
Old 07-21-2019, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Just Asking Questions View Post
You notice I said I was against removing kids? Apparently not.

So who are you expecting to pay for these lunches?
Imagine someone said "I don't support locking children in cages, but how are we supposed to enforce immigration laws?" What would that mean?

By asking such a question, you defend the act.

I mean, there are obviously several other answers. How do you get the money? Well, most states get it from the free lunch programs, sponsored by the federal and state governments. Some will take money from elsewhere in the budge and run fundraisers. Tax raising is often a thing, where going up a few 10ths of a cent is enough to fix the problem. Those who owe money are often turned over to collectors, if it really is an issue of them withholding rather than not being able to afford it.

There are plenty of answers, so it would be really weird if you were asking that question legitimately. Same as there are multiple ways to enforce immigration without child cages.

Dude, don't act like your namesake. You've said it was an unfortunate coincidence. So don't JAQ off.

Last edited by BigT; 07-21-2019 at 09:00 AM.
  #37  
Old 07-21-2019, 12:17 PM
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Nevermind.

Last edited by Lobohan; 07-21-2019 at 12:20 PM.
  #38  
Old 07-21-2019, 01:24 PM
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Let me spell it out really clearly: taking my kid away would be the worst thing you could do to me. And of course, it would be even worse for him.

Probably a good thing I don't have kids, because if someone threatened to take my kid away over a small dollar amount like this, I'd be swearing vengeance against that person until the ends of the Earth. Legal retribution first... Eternal harassment and letting everyone they ever work with until the end of time know what kind of shit bag they are second.
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Old 07-21-2019, 02:24 PM
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Maybe it's a persuasion technique, like the kind Dilbert creator Scott Adams is always touting. This official knows there is nothing he can do to force his will on every parent and recoup all the money in short order. With only a tiny effort the persuasion technique veiled as a rhetorical threat inserted into the letter might convince 40-60% to quickly pay what they owe.

Last edited by Covfefe; 07-21-2019 at 02:24 PM.
  #40  
Old 07-21-2019, 03:07 PM
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Maybe it's a persuasion technique, like the kind Dilbert creator Scott Adams is always touting. This official knows there is nothing he can do to force his will on every parent and recoup all the money in short order. With only a tiny effort the persuasion technique veiled as a rhetorical threat inserted into the letter might convince 40-60% to quickly pay what they owe.
I’m pretty sure that’s called coercion.
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Old 07-21-2019, 04:02 PM
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For sure. My point is that I wouldn't put it past a district to extend credit to students to spend to raise funds, and then go after the parents for the deficit. It's totally unethical.
Gotcha. Yep, that'd be pretty awful, and, one hopes, criminal.
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Old 07-21-2019, 04:12 PM
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Let's knock off all this judgmental hand-wringing about how bad the parents must be and just do the right thing here.
I'd do the right thing.
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Old 07-21-2019, 06:15 PM
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The linked article and others mentioned that some schools in that district qualify for free lunch for all students. This has to do with the percentage of students whose family income falls below a certain threshold. The school in question did not qualify this year. It may be because some parents did not understand how to fill out the forms and they counted other federal aid as income. The articles weren’t really clear on how the lunch program worked, but I got the impression that any family could apply for and receive free lunches for their kids based on need — and once a certain percentage of kids at the school qualified, then everyone got free lunch.

There was some insinuation that some of the parents ( I suspect it was the 4 parents with the $450+ debt) were refusing to pay as a form of protest against the policy. Apparently the school in question will get free lunches next year.

Sending that letter was the wrong thing to do. It weaponized the department of social services. But I’m not convinced that these parents are people that genuinely couldn’t scrape up lunch money for their kids. It’s sound like they may have been mad because some upper-middle class kid on the wrong side of town gets free lunch, and their kids don’t.

Last edited by Ann Hedonia; 07-21-2019 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 07-21-2019, 06:31 PM
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There was some insinuation that some of the parents ( I suspect it was the 4 parents with the $450+ debt) were refusing to pay as a form of protest against the policy.
I'm not exactly trusting the nutrition department's take on things at this point.

I think there are three different issues here:
1) Is the policy on who should get free lunches, and how the bureaucracy re: those lunches works, appropriate? I don't have enough information, but from what little I have they sound jacked.
2) Are some parents falling down on the job? I don't have enough information, but sure, there's always gonna be parents who flake on shit like this, and they shouldn't do it. If they're protesting in some way, they sure sound like assholes, the kind of assholes that collections agencies were invented for.
3) Was the letter appropriate? OH HELL NO.

Incompetent bureaucracy, flakey parents--welcome to civilization, y'all. That's just how things work. But threatening parents like this? I don't know if it's criminal, but I damn sure hope the DA is combing the lawbooks figuring how whether it's indictable.

Last edited by Left Hand of Dorkness; 07-21-2019 at 06:32 PM.
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Old 07-21-2019, 07:27 PM
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But threatening parents like this? I don't know if it's criminal, but I damn sure hope the DA is combing the lawbooks figuring how whether it's indictable.
It's not - even if I hadn't seen that a lawyer was involved in drafting the letter, I would have known one was. Because it's an example of what I call "lying by telling the truth". From the NYT story:

Quote:
“Your child has been sent to school every day without money and without a breakfast and/or lunch,” read the letter, which was signed by Joseph Muth, director of federal programs for the Wyoming Valley West School District. “This is a failure to provide your child with proper nutrition and you can be sent to Dependency Court for neglecting your child’s right to food. If you are taken to Dependency court, the result may be your child being removed from your home and placed in foster care.”
Assuming that the children were sent to school with neither money nor food- every line is true. Sending the child with neither money nor food is failing to provide proper nutrition, and parents can end up in dependency court for neglecting a child by not providing adequate food. And if the parents are taken to court the result may be foster care. But the impression that the letter sought to give, that there was a good chance kids would end up in foster care if the parents didn't pay is not true. There is no chance they will end up in foster care just for an unpaid lunch bill.

And the district wouldn't be making those reports in good faith. Remember how I said the parents are failing to provide the kids with proper nutrition if they sent the kids to school with neither food nor money? You notice I didn't say anything about unpaid bills- because that doesn't matter. If district feels the parents are neglectful for providing neither meals nor money for the kids to buy lunch, then the district should set standards for when to report to CPS- whether the parents paid the bill or not. And if the district decides they weren't actually neglectful because the parents know the school wouldn't let the kid go hungry- then they aren't neglectful, even if the parents stiff the school on the bill.

Oh and about those parents with the $450 bills- I'm sure they are people who are not eligible doing this as a protest. Because in my experience, people who are eligible for free lunch, etc generally fill out the paperwork and don't want to run up bills that will be sent to a collection agency

Last edited by doreen; 07-21-2019 at 07:28 PM.
  #46  
Old 07-21-2019, 07:35 PM
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It's not - even if I hadn't seen that a lawyer was involved in drafting the letter, I would have known one was. Because it's an example of what I call "lying by telling the truth". From the NYT story:
You're likely right--which means they should merely be dismissed, not charged.

Quote:
Oh and about those parents with the $450 bills- I'm sure they are people who are not eligible doing this as a protest. Because in my experience, people who are eligible for free lunch, etc generally fill out the paperwork and don't want to run up bills that will be sent to a collection agency
I am far less sure. The federal forms for free/reduced lunch are a little bonkers (e.g., you have to enter the income for everyone who lives in the house, including infants), and a parent who is, for example, illiterate, may have real trouble getting them filled out. I've had to keep after parents before to get them turned in, and this is tricky to do, because by law I'm not allowed to know who's been approved by the program, or to keep records of who's turned the form in. But I can see who's getting bills sent home by the cafeteria, and I can follow up then. If a teacher isn't following up, or if the parent is phobic about paperwork or something, I can easily imagine the form not getting filled out.
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Old 07-21-2019, 07:53 PM
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You're likely right--which means they should merely be dismissed, not charged.


I am far less sure. The federal forms for free/reduced lunch are a little bonkers (e.g., you have to enter the income for everyone who lives in the house, including infants), and a parent who is, for example, illiterate, may have real trouble getting them filled out. I've had to keep after parents before to get them turned in, and this is tricky to do, because by law I'm not allowed to know who's been approved by the program, or to keep records of who's turned the form in. But I can see who's getting bills sent home by the cafeteria, and I can follow up then. If a teacher isn't following up, or if the parent is phobic about paperwork or something, I can easily imagine the form not getting filled out.
You're right- when I revised I left something out. Which was that people who are eligible but have trouble filling out the forms might find something to send with the kid for lunch (even if it's not much), or tell the kid to skip lunch or basically do anything else but tell the kid to get lunch every day resulting in a $400 something bill. Because if you're eligible for free lunch, you're never going to be able to pay that bill- and even being sent to a collection agency will be disastrous. But your experience is more relevant than mine, so if you say it's possible that those with the $450 bills might have been eligible, I'll accept it.

Last edited by doreen; 07-21-2019 at 07:54 PM.
  #48  
Old 07-22-2019, 06:50 AM
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Which was that people who are eligible but have trouble filling out the forms might find something to send with the kid for lunch (even if it's not much), or tell the kid to skip lunch or basically do anything else but tell the kid to get lunch every day resulting in a $400 something bill. Because if you're eligible for free lunch, you're never going to be able to pay that bill- and even being sent to a collection agency will be disastrous.
I mean, slacking off and getting sent to collections isn't a great idea, but if you've got more than 1,000 people living in poverty, it's pretty plausible that 4 of them are making less than stellar financial decisions. There could easily be 4 people who are just despairing, who already have so many collections agencies coming after them that they don't give a shit about another one.

I'm not convinced that's what's going on--just think it's plausible that this isn't a protest.
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Old 07-22-2019, 07:07 AM
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According to one of the stories I read about this, Several schools on that area have such a high percentage of families below the poverty level that they qualify for a program that gives free lunches to everyone without without asking for income information. That’s the kind of area that this school district is in and yet they pull this stunt threatening poor kids’ families for what reason?
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Old 07-22-2019, 07:12 AM
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I'm surprised there are this many posters who can't tell the difference between filing a lawsuit to take kids from homes and sending a letter threatening to file a lawsuit to take kids from homes.

Can y'all stop acting like anyone went to court? Or that there's any actual intention to do so?

It's as if you don't understand what an empty threat is.
I've had some experience with the foster system where I live (New York City). Quite a bit, in fact.

You apparently have no idea how easy it is to take the children of poor people away from them. Without a court hearing. Yes, a court hearing is necessary to terminate parental rights, but short of that? A caseworker's word will do it.

It's not an empty threat. And it certainly wouldn't have felt like an empty threat to those targeted by that threat.
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