LAKELAND (FOX 13) - When Lawton Chiles Middle Academy sent out its orientation packets to parents, Chris Stephenson was flabbergasted by what he saw.
“I read this wrong?” he wondered. “Let me read this again. This can't be right. They can't have thought, ‘This is a great idea.’”
Stephenson couldn't believe how the PTSA was trying to raise money: You pay $100; your kid gets a pass to go to the front of the lunch line.
“If we're putting kids in the front because Dad has money, this dad over here doesn't. Why didn't that click? It's 2017. It's not the 1960s. We're not telling people to go to the back of the bus because you're poor,” he continued. “It's stupid. It's beyond where we should be at this point.”
Social media blew up over it as well.
When we brought the issue to the attention of the superintendent of schools, it didn't take long for her to say this was definitely not going to happen.
“It's not the way we operate,” Dr. Jacqueline Byrd insisted. “This story is not happening.”
As the first day of school unfolded, emails flew. The principal of Chiles Middle Academy fired off one to parents saying he never approved the idea.
The president of the PTSA sent FOX 13 this explanation: "This family and business sponsorship program was explored, but we decided not to implement. Due to a clerical error, the form was inadvertently
Included in the orientation packets."
So the lunch line idea was quickly taken off the menu. Now Chiles Middle Academy could use new idea to raise money.