Louisiana senators shelve bill to ban 'school lunch shaming'
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - An effort to prohibit Louisiana public schools from embarrassing or penalizing students because they have unpaid lunch debts won't become state law.
The Advocate reports the Senate Education Committee rejected the House-backed bill Thursday, voting 4-2 against it. Rep. Patricia Smith, the Baton Rouge Democrat who sponsored the proposal, says children shouldn't be held responsible or humiliated for debts of parents.
Her legislation would have barred schools from publicly identifying students with back-owed lunch bills, requiring them to do chores to pay for meals, withholding school privileges from them or scolding them. Organizations representing school boards, principals and superintendents opposed the measure, concerned it would leave school districts saddled with debt.
The House voted 71-28 for the bill, and Gov. John Bel Edwards supported it.