At last week’s school board meeting, school board members learned that middle and high school principals decided that students who owe school fees will not be allowed to attend school dances.
“I have a problem with fees,” said school board member Anthony Fontana. “Why are we going to penalize the student because of the parent?”
School Board Superintendent Randy Schexnayder said it is at the principal’s discretion.
Fontana said he does not think it should be at the principal’s discretion who should pay fees and who should not. “What if he (principal) has a parent he does not like or has a problem with, or maybe the child can not afford it?,” said Fontana.
“There are other things we could do dealing with fees. I think it is wrong.”
Fontana said schools have had problems in the past that they left up to the principal. He reminded the School Board about the problem at Abbeville High. He said certain students at the school were penalized for something that was not their fault because of the “principal’s discretion”.
“Kids should not be penalized because they can not pay fees,” Fontana said. School board member Charles Campbell wanted to know if it is just school dances that are affected or if it is every school function. Campbell said the policy dealing with fees is too broad.
Fontana wants the principals to go back and come up with a better policy dealing with fees.
“Do we want some of our parents having to choose between feeding their kids or a child not going to a prom because they could not pay a fee?” Fontana said. “We need to have another policy.”