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12 Parents Charged With Theft Over Unpaid School Lunch Money

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Thepittsburghchannel: Some parents in the Jeannette School District were criminally charged with theft because they owed school lunch money.

"They shouldn't have went that extreme," said Rick Snyder, one of 12 parents who was called to a court hearing Thursday.

The state pays for Snyder's daughter's lunch, but he owed the school district $105 for extra snacks that the girl bought in the last school year.

Snyder paid the bill and the theft charge against him was dropped.

"They shouldn't even let -- if they don't have the extra money to buy the extra food, then don't sell it to them, instead of building up a credit, and if you don't pay it, they don't get a report card if you don't pay it," Snyder said.

The school district said it gave parents plenty of warning that the bill was due, but some just didn't pay.

Some owed small amounts like $29 or $58, but Channel 4 Action News found a woman who owed more than $263.

By the end of the school year, the district said it was out more than $3,000.

"We feed all of our children, regardless, but obviously you need to pay for it," school board president Randy Highlands said. "We have a budget, and we're responsible for meeting that budget, and without payment of that budget, we can't meet it and provide the necessary meals to the kids."

Nine parents paid Thursday. The other three asked for their hearings to be rescheduled.

"We had several cases here today with the Jeannette School District. We resolved many of them," Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Dupilka said.

Jeannette said it's very important for any family who needs subsidized school lunches to fill out the paperwork that will be sent home at the beginning of the next school year.

Full story: Thepittsburghchannel:

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1 comments so far | Post a comment now
friend June 19, 2010, 12:15 PM

both the school and parents should be blamed. the school shouldn’t have put a child’s leisure habits on credit and the parents shouldn’t have ignored payment of what they owed when it was demanded. it doesn’t help the child build responsibility, budgeting skills or eating habits either.

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