TAMPA (FOX 13) - At Woodrow Wilson Middle School in South Tampa, kids who are shining stars, academically and behaviorally, go to the front of the lunch line. Kids who are struggling eat last.
"Everyone knows they're last in line because they got a 'C,' said Sonya Brown, a parent. Brown thinks the system shames kids and labels them. She also says the kids at the end of the line don't have enough time to eat. School administrators disagree.
The program is based on incentive cards, which students get for doing the right thing.
Brown is so disturbed by incentive cards, she started an online petition to get rid of them in the lunch room. More than 400 parents signed it.
School administrators just took notice. The principal sent out a letter saying incentive cards will not be used in the lunchroom for the rest of the school year.
The principal, Colleen Faucett, writes, "I am pleased to say, in part, due to our academic incentive card program, Woodrow Wilson Middle School consistantly ranks among the best middle schools, not only in the district, but in the State of Florida. That being said, my team and I are always willing to adjust any of our programs for the benefit of our students."
The system will stay in place until this Friday when kids leave for winter break. The cards will no longer be used in the lunchroom starting in January, when they return.