New Jersey pupils with $75 lunch debt banned from prom and field trips

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A US high school lunch of nuggets, biscuits, apple sauce and water
A US high school lunch (file image)

A US school district has banned students who have more than $75 (£58) in lunch debt from attending the prom and other extra-curricular activities.

The school board president of Cherry Hill in New Jersey said the plan struck a “balance of compassion” while “holding people accountable”.

A businessman said he would settle the debts but the board rejected his offer.

The prom ban was brought in after previous measures taken by the district were condemned as “lunch-shaming”.

In August, Cherry Hill had announced that students behind on payments would only be given tuna sandwiches rather than a full meal.

Following a public outcry, the board withdrew the policy, replacing it with the ban on indebted students taking part in extra-curricular activities.

The district has 19 schools with a total of about 11,350 students, of whom about 20% are eligible for reduced-price or free meals, The Inquirer reports.

A meal at Cherry Hill costs $3, rising to $3.10 for high school students

Why was the donation rejected?

Steve Ravitz, who runs a Cherry Hill supermarket chain, posted on Facebook earlier in September that he would be “happy to solve this issue”.

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