Bill to remove extracurricular punishment for school meal debt passed in Delaware House committee

DOVER — When Delaware students have outstanding debt for unpaid school meals, they can be denied participation in school-sponsored extracurricular activities.

But, a new proposal in the House of Representatives seeks to remove that punishment in an attempt to eliminate poverty shaming in the First State.

House Bill 263, sponsored by Rep. Sherry Dorsey Walker, D-Wilmington, would bar public and charter schools from denying students with unpaid school meal debt participation in activities like sports, clubs and school dances.

The bill was well received during the House Education Committee’s meeting on Wednesday, where several lawmakers noted that students should not be punished for their family’s financial hardship and should be allowed to participate in the activities that are a large part of their school experience.

This included Rep. Rae Moore, D-Middletown, who introduced House Bill 125 last April, which would provide all Delaware students with free school lunches and breakfast.

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