$100 to skip the lunch line? Some parents see 'cafeteria classism'

Faith Castro
August 13, 2017

"This definitely hits home for me and I am very upset about it", Brian Andrews, the principal of Lawton Chiles Middle Academy said.

A U.S. school sent out a fundraising form that offered students a United States dollars 100 "pass" that would entitle them to jump to the front of the lunch queue, sparking outrage among parents who accused the institution of "cafeteria classism".

"The last thing you want to do is add like a food hierarchy on top of that by saying, 'my dad has more money than you, I get to eat first".

Donations at various levels included certain perks, one of which was allowing children of parents donating $100 or more to go to the front of the lunch line.

What's more, says Stephenson, the kids are only allowed 20 minutes for lunch, making the front-of-the-line pass an extra slap in the face to kids whose parents can't buy one.

After Stephenson shared the letter in a Facebook post on August 9 and the comments came pouring in.

"(The PTSA) which operates independently from the school financially, however, can not make school decisions without the principal's approval", Brian Andrews, principal of the school, told Fox News. The PTSA says the whole thing was a big mistake.

However, the school's president claimed that although the PTSA, which is composed of volunteers, is in charge of fundraising, it has to be approved by him.

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"This fundraiser will not be taking place at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy", Andrews said in an email to parents.

"Nobody is a second-class citizen here and I would encourage anybody to speak to parents that have been here", Andrews said.

Following the incident, a statement from PTSA addressed the situation and attributed it to a "clerical error", according to WXYZ.

"We look to strive to look for new and innovative fundraising ideas to enhance the school experience for our students".

'They're always looking to for creative ways to raise funds. "We offer a variety of fundraising options for our students and families to choose from each year", the PTSA said.

"The letter calling for donations to help with the 2017-2018 school year has other gifts for different amounts of money such as: "$50 Family Sponsor - Last name featured on website and $250 Family or Business Sponsor - All the above PLUS 2 premium seats at concerts and awards ceremony". The intent of our PTSA is to always do the best for our students and families.

Andrews noted to the Daily Mail that "sometimes people make mistakes" and reiterated that the program will not be offered.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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