The threat posed to Pennsylvanian children that they could end up in foster care if their parents do not pay overdue school lunch bills as soon as possible, has caused preoccupation the to the parent community and child welfare authorities in Luzerne County.
Some believe that the Wyoming Valley Western School District may have crossed a line in its collection strategy and that the consequences would be an excess that the Pennsylvania School District does not see as policy.
This administrative procedure, which has been described as an excess by the Pennsylvania School District, was formalized through letters sent to at least 1,000 homes where it was noted that if the debt was not honored, children could end up in foster care.
According to a CBS Philly report , the district says it is trying to collect more than $20,000 and that other methods to get parents pay have not been successful.
The audio-visual media expressed that the letter claims that unpaid bills could lead to dependency hearings and the expulsion of their children for not having provided them with food.
“You can be sent to dependency court for neglecting your child’s right to food. The result may be your child being taken from your home and placed in foster care,” the letter read.
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The family characteristics of people who have not made the payments, describe a condition of multifactorial economic recession that must be studied for its approach.
The hostility that has stood out in the midst of this “confusion” has led officials to send a less threatening letter next week.
Luzerne County’s manager and child welfare agency director wrote to the superintendent, insisting the district stop making what they call “false claims”.
Their letter calls the district’s actions troubling and a misrepresentation of how the Department of Children and Youth Services and its foster care program operate.
Wyoming Valley West responds
Wyoming Valley West’s lawyer, Charles Coslett, said he did not consider the letters to be threatening.
“Hopefully, that gets their attention and it certainly did, didn’t it? I mean, if you think about it, you’re here this morning because some parents cried foul because he or she doesn’t want to pay a debt attributed to feeding their kids. How shameful”, Coslett told WYOU-TV.
Also, the district’s federal programs director, Joseph Muth, told WNEP-TV the district had considered serving peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to students with delinquent accounts but received legal advice warning against it.
School district officials say they plan to look for other legal ways to get the lunch money, such as filing a district court complaint or placing liens on property.
Translated by: José Espinoza