Warwick School Committee Is Heartless [OPINION]
Anyone who has read my articles or listened to my show wouldn't question my conservative bonafides. That said, I am in complete opposition to the Warwick, Rhode Island School Committee plan to turn some children away from the hot lunches offered and instead feed them cold sun butter and jelly sandwiches.
This new policy would pertain to students whose lunch accounts have unpaid balances.
The policy was announced this past Sunday on the Warwick Public School's Facebook page. As you can imagine, it has been met with furious responses by parents.
I'm a fiscal hawk. Fiscal responsibility is a big part of what I speak about. But in terms of how much is wasted, squandered, stolen and spent in government budgets, school lunches are a feather on the scale.
Pallets of cash recently went to Iran, sent by the Obama Administration to bribe them in vain to comply with nuclear energy laws which, in theory, would stop Iran from converting the uranium to weapons. Yes, the same Iran that hosts Hezbollah, the terrorist organization that murdered 283 US Marines.
About 14-18 million illegal immigrants are here, many millions gaining access to taxpayer resources, whether it be housing, home fuel assistance, EBT and yes, public education.
We turn a blind eye annually when hundreds of millions of dollars sent to Central America, the Caribbean and elsewhere disappear instead of reaching those who should benefit from the foreign aid.
So spare me when a school committee member in the perpetually corrupt state of Rhode Island says the buck stops at a lunch tab of a hungry seven-year-old little girl.
As a widower of three little boys, I was shown just how judgemental the hardliners can be. I am grateful that God showed me this side of things, although not so much with the path it came by.
Now of course, there are many parents who just don't care enough to be responsible and pay the lunch tab. There are dozens of reasons when they can pay it but choose to spend their money elsewhere.
But take it out on them, not the kid. Tie their debt into the other things that adults have to face. Don't let them renew licenses or registrations until the bill is paid. Let the unpaid debt accrue interest. Set up liens on their tax returns. There are lots of things to do that won't include exposing kids to ridicule, neglect and humiliation.
By law, each child has to attend public schools if they are not enrolled in other approved education options. We force them to come, so we are responsible for them between the school hours. If you are providing meals for some kids, then all kids should eat.
The Warwick School Committee wouldn't even let a local business pay the debt off through a charitable donation. Angelica Penta, who owns two restaurants in Warwick, attempted to donate $4,000 but was turned away by the Warwick School Dept.
You people need your heads examined! What possible business is it of yours if the bill is paid?
If there is a bill due, there are ways to get it out of the parent without making the children taking on the brunt of the consequences.
Hey Warwick, smart is better than stupid, and I'm not just talking about education.
Ken Pittman is the host of The Ken Pittman Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Contact him at ken.pittman@