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Southern Boone parents face court for unpaid lunch money

Parents in the Southern Boone County School District who refused to pay for school meals could end up in small claims court. (Mark Slavit/KRCG 13)

Parents in the Southern Boone County School District who refused to pay for school meals could end up in small claims court.

School leaders resorted to drastic measures because their district had a $30,000 annual debt of unpaid cafeteria bills.

The crack down on school lunch money payments affected the parents of about 100 of the 1,600 students in the Southern Boone School District. The new policy required a small claims court appearance for any parent owing more than $500 unless they set up a payment plan. School administrators said the small claims court option was a last resort.

“It’s critical to us that kids have the best health possible," superintendent Chris Felmlee said. "We’re just asking for parents to do what they need to do and be responsible. Unfortunately, we have a handful of them that are persistently not.”

School district officials said some parents owing lunch money refused government assistance to pay their bills. School officials offered help to fill out the paper work for government funded free or reduced meals.

School board members also adopted a new policy to ban parents from school functions for failing to pay their meal debt.

“I don’t know who they are, but we need to analyze them," School Board President Barrett Glascock said. "If there is a problem, the community comes together and we can help. If they don’t have a problem, then they need to pay.”

School administrators planned to send collection notification letters to parents in the hopes of avoiding any small claims court appearances.

Southern Boone School District officials said they would never punish students for the actions of their parents.

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