ASHLAND, Missouri -- A school district in Missouri is threatening to take parents to court if they don't pay for their children's school lunches.
KOMU-TV reports school officials say some parents haven't paid for lunches from the time their child was in kindergarten all the way through their senior year of high school.
Now, those parents could face small claims court if their balance reaches $500, or even be banned from their child's graduation ceremonies if they don't cooperate with the school district.
"We're talking about people who for one reason or another just refuse to pay," said Chris Felmlee, superintendent. "I think in the past there's been a hands-off approach. There's really been no consequence."
He says right now there are around 70 families that owe the school lunch money.
The board says non-payment on school lunches is a roughly $30,000-a-year problem.
The school board says they are willing to work with families by offering a payment plan.
"We will work out a payment plan for them. They can sign up for Free and Reduced Lunch. Some of them just don't fill out the paperwork and they have to fill out the paperwork in order for it to work," said Barrett Glascock/ school board president.
The policy does not affect families that already receive government assistance to pay for food. null
Parents threatened with court for unpaid school lunches