A woman who said her daughter was regularly bullied at South Hadley High, urged officials at the Dec 13 School Committee meeting, to change how students that get free or reduced price lunches are identified.
Jennifer Kalvinek, delivered two copies of an online petition with over 5,000 signatures to the committee, calling on the high school to stop requiring students receiving assistance in paying for lunch under the ‘National School Lunch Program’, use a school issued ticket, to get their lunch.
Kalvinek, whose daughter 16-year-old Payton Spinney was one of those students while at the school, claims the neon orange tickets, single out students from low-income households for harassment from their peers, and amounts to segregating them based on economic status.
” These are high schoolers, they don’t want to do that. They don’t want another reason to be bullied,” she said to committee members during the public comment portion of the meeting. “You have a lot of poverty in South Hadley, and a lot of kids who just don’t get lunch cause they don’t want to be segregated.”