NJ school district bans indebted students from prom and field trips, refuses offer to pay off lunch debt

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/10/22/everything-is-legal-in-nj-2.html


We’re going to be coming back to the following article a lot here.


So I have had this issue come up before where my 3 kids had “large” debts on their accounts (never more than $20 or so…but the school freaked out nonetheless). Now we aren’t poor, nor are we 1%ers…it was merely me refusing to load money back on their accounts because I stock the house with food for lunches…they were just being too damn lazy to pack a lunch!!!

I fought with the school over the “debt” not because I couldn’t bring them up to date, and not because they were being banned from anything…but because the school wouldn’t allow me to turn off their accounts. This pissed me off! I argued “I am buying them food to pack a lunch…they aren’t going hungry, they are just being lazy as fuck!” the school: “Well, we can’t refuse to let them buy a lunch?” Me: “UH!?! WTF I AM PAYING FOR IT…Why can’t I control if they can buy the lunch or not?!”

It went around and around.

I’m with Bernie on this one…just make all school lunches free. Raise my taxes by the paltry .05% to pay for it.


As Rob B. points out elsewhere, “the cruelty is the point”.


And Cherry Hill is a STRONGLY Democratic township. Centrists I’m sure.


The starvings will continue until economic status improves.


The lunches should definitely be free, more importantly the food needs to not be shitty. At certain schools the food is worse than what prisoners get.


On a lightly related note, a few days ago I watched a video about the mall in Cherry Hill and it’s history

I know it’s a lengthy one but i’ll get to the interesting points brought up in the video. It was the first indoor mall built on the east coast; the mall became so synonymous with the town that they renamed the town from Delaware Township to Cherry Hill after it and there’s a ton of higher end retailers in it like Michael Kors, Steve Madden, Apple and Nordstrom.

The fact that they have a thriving mall like that with a nearly 100% occupancy rate and yet the town openly wants to humiliate poor kids says there something really wrong going on there. They definitely have the means to make sure every student there has breakfast & lunch every school day.


Superintendent Joseph Meloche and Board President Eric Goodwin stated - “hurting kids builds our character. The kids just get hungry, despodent, stigmatized and can’t pay attentionin class. As they should.”


Said Adios New Jersey back in 1976, never to return.


So what would you do about families that opt in to the paid lunch program (not the free lunch program) and then refuse to pay?

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Prisoners are more likely to start riots if given bad food. It’s one thing to use cheap ingredients, but you can do a lot with those too with a bit of effort.


The most heinous crime you can commit in this country is the crime of being poor. You want “American Values”? This is it.


It’s an issue between the school and the parents. Leave the kids out of it. It’s that simple.

This is a public school, not some private endeavor.

I detest when the school sends home some field trip form or other during normal hours event that requires a check, sometimes a substantial one, with some lengthy form to request support if needed. It’s one thing to have extracurricular events after school that require a fee to support. But for stuff that’s during the day, just fund the things and be done with it.

We pay it, because we can, but they shouldn’t be putting that stress on other families. They certainly shouldn’t be excluding kids from standard activities because their parents were not organized enough to deal with it. I don’t know every other kids home life, and the school shouldn’t plan normal activities that requires knowing it either.



He’s made up his mind that the parents of all 343 of the indebted students are habitual freeloaders who will only be encouraged/rewarded if the debt is paid by a third party.

On average, that’s a bit over $41 per indebted student.

I wonder how much research he’s conducted on the topic, how many of those parents he’s interviewed, how much experience he personally has with living on a marginal income.

I’m guessing the answer to all three of those questions is zero.


Socialism, Socialism! He wants to destroy Capitalism! /s
(I’m sorry, just had to inject some right wing bullshit into the thread because I unfortunately have some allegedly ‘compassionate’ family members in Canada and the US that think that way and it truly disgusts me.


Huh! Yeah I grew up around there and I never knew this history, went there quite a few times as a kid. As others have guessed upthread: I once saw a (humorous, but the center of the humor is a grain of truth,) map of NJ which labeled that part of the state as “Happy White Families”

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I’m moving there next week. Even with this, it’s still an improvement over Missouri. Except for housing costs. It’s hard to beat the middle of the country for that.


My condolences. Pockets of relative fun places do exist, but do your homework, it ain’t no picnic that New Jersey.

What utterly greedy, inhumane assholes;

Paging St Barbara!