• Fri. Dec 2nd, 2022

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Plan to search school lunches, limit snacks sparks backlash in Pennsylvania district

A Pennsylvania school on Monday started limiting the amount of snacks students can bring to school, sparking outrage from some parents.

A Facebook post from Aliquippa School District posted last week said that Aliquippa Junior/Senior High School students had started bringing an “excessive amounts of outside snacks,” like shopping bags full of chips and canned drinks.

Because of that, students’ bags will be searched, the district said in the post. Anything more than one 4-ounce bag of chips and one beverage up to 20 ounces will be thrown out by security.

Students who pack lunch will not get an allowance for additional snacks and will also have their lunches opened and inspected, the district said.

The post had hundreds of critical comments by Tuesday morning, but was deleted shortly before 7:30 a.m. A district spokesperson did not respond to a request for further comment or answer why the post was deleted.

“You’re going to tell parents what they can and cannot send for their child to eat? That’s absurd! Maybe if school lunches weren’t so tiny and gross they wouldn’t need to bring extra snacks,” one person commented, according to the Miami Herald.

“Lunch Police,” another person commented. “Maybe they should stay out of the parenting business and focus on giving our kids a quality education.”

Before deleting the post, the district had responded: “Thank you all for your feedback. If you have children in the district please contact your building principal. If you are an internet heckler, continue as you were.”

District Superintendent Phillip Woods told NBC affiliate WPXI of Pittsburgh that the decision to limit snacks was made because students were selling and trading food, causing distractions.

“The children aren’t going to starve because they do have free meals for breakfast and lunch,” added Aliquippa school board member Catherine Colalella. It’s unclear if every student in the junior-senior high school qualifies for free meals.