This is in response to the article by Cynthia Drummond in The Westerly Sun of Wednesday, April 10, titled “Chariho School Committee revisits thorny problem of school lunch debt.”
Through the years, I have criticized the School Committee and voted against their school budgets. However the School Committee should be commended on their stance against penalizing students whose school lunches had debt. The responsibility logically should be with the parents. If the parents have difficulty paying for their students, that is one thing. I believe there is a remedy for that. However, if debt has occurred, maybe a “small claims” filing in court might prompt families to take care of that debt, instead of ignoring it. At least they will be less likely to ignore a judge than school authorities.
The article notes, “As they did last year, several members objected to the idea of punishing a student for debt that they said a parent’s responsibility.” The article notes Hopkinton members Catherine Giusti and Lisa Macaruso opposed penalizing the students on school activities. I publicly thank them for their votes, as well as other School Committee members who joined them. I think high school is a lot of pressure on students as it is, without penalizing them over lunch money.
Scott Bill Hirst
The writer is vice president of the Hopkinton Town Council.