Who is Waukesha School District president? Board says free meals could spoil children

Waukesha district school board decided against taking up the free school meals state program because parents would become 'addicted' to service

                            Who is Waukesha School District president? Board says free meals could spoil children
Waukesha School District serves 14,000 students (Image used for representation: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

A Wisconsin school district faced severe backlash from parents after announcing to opt-out of a free school meals program. Reportedly, members of the Waukesha district school board decided against taking up the state program, thus becoming the only school in the state to do so. The said program offers 'universal' access to free meals for students regardless of family income.

If reports are to be believed, members of the school board raised concerns over the state-backed program citing that children would "become spoiled" and their parents "addicted" to the service. Waukesha was the only one to opt-out of continuing with the 'Seamless Summer Option' out of 408 school districts in the state. Waukesha board members voted to bring the National School Lunch Program, instead, which requires students prove their family’s income is low enough to qualify for free school meals, instead.


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The district, which serves 14,000 students, promised the reversal would not see children ‘fall between the cracks,’ however, some local residents were worried that the decision could see many families living ‘paycheck-to-paycheck’ miss out. Karen Fraley, a local resident spoke of the decision and said, "Even if it’s not my kid who needs that food, it’s just a matter of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and understanding that we all need to take care of each other." One parent whose foster children benefitted from the universal program noted that it had helped remove some of the stigma surrounding free school meals.

Who is the president of Waukesha school board?

The president of Waukesha school board, Joseph Como Jr said that bringing back the old policy was part of returning to 'normal' following the pandemic. "As we get back to whatever you want to believe normal means, we have decisions to make. I would say this is part of normalisation, " Como told the board during a meeting to discuss the program in June. Another board member mentioned that they worried that keeping the universal program could see families grow a "slow addiction to the service". In light of the protests against the new policy by the local residents, a special school board meeting on the issue is scheduled next week.

'The person who made this decision should be fired'

People flocked to Twitter to express rage over the decision calling the people behind it 'sick'. One user wrote, "The person who made this decision should be fired. Keeping food from even one hungry kid is sadistic." Another commented, "Wtf?!? This is so fucking stupid. The kids are going to become spoiled because they can eat lunch for no cost?!?! Kids can still bring their own lunch, there’s no requirement to eat the food provided but it’s a crucial resource for many families. People declining this are sick." One tweet read, "I mean, if you get kids used to eating, then they'll just want livable wages, healthcare, clean water, and a climate that isn't slowly killing them next." Another user commented, "If you see Waukesha school board members on the street, makes sure to knock food out of their hands. Can’t let them become spoiled"





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