13 August, 2017
The pass, described in a PTSA sponshorship form, was offered in an orientation packet handed out at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy in Lakeland earlier this week.
Parents of students at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy in Lakeland received a Parent-Teacher-Student Association sponsorship form sent out to raise money for the school, with one line item promising "last name or company logo feature on the website, as well as PTSA events AND front of the lunch line pass" with a $100 donation, ABC Action News reports.
"Or maybe work hard for the money and you will have more opportunities". For one thing, numerous kids in the school are food-insecure (a polite way of saying that they don't always get enough food to eat), so telling poor families that they can pay an extra hundred bucks for special food access is at once insensitive and insulting, says parent Chris Stephenson.
The letter appears to offer the lunch line pass in exchange for a $100 donation, among other tiers of donation rewards. "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", parent Chris Stephenson told News Channel 8.
Further, Andrews said that he has spoken to the PTSA's leadership to make sure that no communication is sent to parents without first getting the approval of school officials.
Stephenson shared the form in a Facebook post, which has since garnered hundreds of comments from upset parents. "Nobody's a second-class citizen here", he said.
We don't. That's on me as the principal so ultimately, it is my responsibility what goes out to the kids. They claimed that the piece was accidentally put in the orientation packets and noted that Principal Andrews never signed off on the documents.
The PTSA, which distributed the letter, said it was just a clerical error, and the program will not be going forward.
"We look to strive for new and innovative fundraising ideas to enhance the school experience for our students".
"There was much brainstorming among the group to find ways to generate funds", Andrews told Fox News.
"This Family and Business Sponsorship programme was explored but we decided not to implement it".
"Due to a clerical error, the form was inadvertently included in the orientation packets".
Titled "Family and Business Sponsors, the form stated that the PTSA was looking for 'local families and business to partner with" during the school year. "Our families have been notified this programme is not being offered", it said.