Fallout from lunch bill letter continues as the school’s threat draws national attention


KINGSTON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — People from all over are reacting to the controversial lunch letter that was sent to parents in the Wyoming Valley West School District. The letter tells parents that their child could be sent to a foster home unless they make good on delinquent lunch bills.

That lunch letter has been the focus of most major media outlets including television networks, newspapers, talk shows, and online news services. The school district is not making any official comment today. Our calls have not been returned, but one school board member is talking and says the controversy did not have to happen.

On Monday afternoon, Luzerne County Manager David Pedri was interviewed about the letter on CNN. The county insists it would never remove children from homes despite what the Wyoming Valley West School District letter threatens.

The contents of the one-page letter which was sent to parents in the Wyoming Valley West School District has been the focus of intense scrutiny. It tells parents that their child could be placed into foster homes unless they pay their delinquent lunch bills. The district says its part of its effort to collect more than $20,000 of unpaid lunch bills.

The district administration has not said a word since the controversy erupted last week.

“Hopefully that gets their attention, and it certainly did, didn’t it,” Attorney Charles Coslett, Wyoming Valley West Solicitor said last Thursday.

School Board Vice President David Usavage is talking. He’s been leading the charge to try to ‘make it right’.

“We’re going to have to send those 39 people that received that letter, we need to send them an apology. Not an apology for not paying their bill, but an apology for the tone of that letter,” Usavage said.

The letter is still the talk on the streets of our area.

“I thought it was awful,” John Pavlick of Drums said. “A horrible thing to do. It was done maliciously.”

“I think people should take care of other people,” Pam Pavlick of Drums said. “I think that’s what they should be doing. This with a big heart, take care of these kids.”

According to Usavage, letters were sent to 39 parents, not to all 1,000 parents who are behind on their lunch payments. Usavage insists that apology letter must be sent out sooner than later.

Eyewitness News has received numerous calls and emails from people across the country offering to pay off the lunch debt for the school district. We’ve referred them to school district officials.

The Wyoming Valley West Letter was also the topic on the CBS show “The Talk” on Monday, July 22/.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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