[Ed. – How is banning schoolchildren from attending extracurricular activities ‘compassionate,’ especially when the responsibility for debts rests with their parents?]
A US school district has banned students who have more than $75 (£58) in lunch debt from attending the prom and other extra-curricular activities.
The school board president of Cherry Hill in New Jersey said the plan struck a “balance of compassion” while “holding people accountable”.
A businessman said he would settle the debts but the board rejected his offer.
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The prom ban was brought in after previous measures taken by the district were condemned as “lunch-shaming”.
In August, Cherry Hill had announced that students behind on payments would only be given tuna sandwiches rather than a full meal.
Following a public outcry, the board withdrew the policy, replacing it with the ban on indebted students taking part in extra-curricular activities.
The district has 19 schools with a total of about 11,350 students, of whom about 20% are eligible for reduced-price or free meals, The Inquirer reports.