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A school district in Pennsylvania immediately received backlash after warning parents their children could be removed from their homes and placed into foster care if the balances of overdue lunch bills are not paid.

According to Fox News, the Wyoming Valley West School District in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, said about 1,000 student accounts owe a total amount of more than $20,000 in school lunch debt and at least four parents owe at least $450 each. 

A letter sent home to parents read, “Your child has been sent to school every day without money and without a breakfast and/or lunch,” the initial letter said. “This is a failure to provide your child with proper nutrition and you can be sent to Dependency Court for neglecting your child’s right to food.”

The correspondence continued, “If you are taken to Dependency court, the result may be your child being removed from your home and placed in foster care,” the letter continues, according to The Hill. “Please remit payment as soon as possible to avoid being reported to the proper authorities.”

The letter warning of a possible foster care “sentence” was sent out to about 40 households on July 9th. The district’s director of federal programs, Joseph Muth, told Citizens’ Voice. Muth said he did not review the letter with the district’s superintendent before it was sent.

On Thursday, the Luzerne County’s manager and child welfare agency director wrote the superintendent, demanding the district retract the letter. The county maintains that children have never and will never be removed from a home for unpaid bills and that the letter was a “gross misrepresentation” of the good work of the county’s child welfare services, Wilkes-Barre’s WYOU-TV reported.

Source: Baller Alert 

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