Wisconsin’s Waukesha School District Board shocked parents earlier this year when it decided to opt out of a federally funded, universal free food program for student lunches because families could “become spoiled” or develop a “slow addiction” to the service. But after the cruel decision made national headlines and sparked local protests, the board voted 5-4 Monday night to reverse the decision. It will rejoin the program it had signed up for during the pandemic that provides meals for all students, regardless of economic background.
In a heated meeting, Superintendent James Sebert said the program would help those “experiencing situational poverty due to the pandemic” who might not qualify for meals under the old rules. But one board member, Kelly Piacsek, whined that giving the government control over feeding “all students at all times regardless of need” was akin to implementing vaccine mandates or teaching critical race theory. Another board member, Anthony Zenobia, said: “If it’s food and free lunch today, it will be forced masking, forced whatever-we-want-to-do in schools because the mob will have the power to tell us what to do.”