Cumberland Academy Elementary parents were shocked when they found out, some students were not allowed to participate in the end of the year activities because their parents owed the school money.
It was a normal day at the school, but the tone changed quickly with just a piece of paper. Some elementary students were banned from field day.
“The principal came to me and said, Allred, we’re pulling your children because they have unpaid lunch balances,” Justin Allred explains a balance she paid the night before.
However, other students weren’t as fortunate. The school’s policy made Tricia Madison and Justin Allred think back to an email, warning parents to check their balance for unpaid lunch, library fees, and E.D. P; an after-school program. Warning if the balance is not paid, their students wouldn’t be allowed to participate in the end of the year celebrations.
“How do you tell a 5-year-old that they’re going to sit out on field day, that they worked hard on all year, and they are playing. These weren’t behavioral problems these were parents responsibility that most kids don’t know about,” says Madison.
Allred and Madison asked the elementary for the combined balance for all students who owed money. They were told $2,633 was owed. To help, the mothers took to social media, asking the community to help flip the bill.
“It’s not fair for us to put adult responsibility on kids,” explained the mothers.
In less than 24 hours, they raised enough money to make sure no student would miss out on the fun. Field trips, recess, just hanging out with your friends, these are things most parents say shouldn’t come at a price.
KETK called the school for comment and left a voice message. We have not received a response. While the mothers say they love the teachers at Cumberland Academy, this policy has to change.
“The end goal is for none of the students to be left out of a school activity over money,” says Madison.
Madison and Allred have raised enough money to pay the balance for every single elementary student, and they would like to thank everyone who contributed.