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.
The Lawton Chiles Middle Academy PTSA sent an orientation packet home with students that included a sponsorship form that asked for donations from businesses and families and it included incentives.
For $50 a person or business would get their name on the school’s website and for $100 a parent could have their child skip the lunch line. For $250 a person would get both and premium seats and concerts and award ceremonies.
This angered parent Chris Stephenson who shared the sponsorship form on his Facebook page.
“So, this is a thing… for the low low price of $100, your child can skip everyone else in the lunch line, every day. What the sh*t,” he wrote.
“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.
“Bullying is already a huge deal as it is, so why add yet another way of differentiating kids from each other,” he said.
Principal Bryan Andrews said he did not know of, nor approve, the fundraiser.
“I have strived to be as inclusive as possible with all kids and this is not something I support,” Andrews told WFLA.
“Sometimes people make mistakes, I don’t think it was anything intentional at all,” the principal said of the PTSA. “They all volunteer. We just want to get it right, move forward, apologize.”
“They’re always looking to for creative ways to raise funds. I think it was brainstorming on their part… however it seems like this didn’t pass my desk,” he said.
The president of the PTSA, Jil Bevis , said the sponsorship packet was sent out by mistake.
“This Family and Business Sponsorship program was explored, but we decided not to implement” she told WFLA in a statement.
“Due to a clerical error, the form was inadvertently included in the Orientation packets. Our families have been notified this program is not being offered.”
The idea created a buzz from two sides of the argument.
Some were outraged that students would get special privileges if their family could afford them.
And others said it teaches children how the real world works.
The debate was intense in the comments section”
“Money talks. Ever heard of First Class or a fancy hotel suite ? You pay extra , you get better treatment,” one user wrote.
“There will always be the haves and the have-nots. Facts are hard,” another argued.
“What a great lesson to teach young kids: the way to get ahead in life is to buy it,” someone opposed to the program said.
“Or maybe work hard for the money and you will have more opportunities. It’s a factual lesson really,” a dissenter replied.
Another person opposed to the idea said “Kids should be equal in school.”
But a responded argued “Why? They’re not going to be equal when they get out of school.”
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