The Dover Area School Board is asking for a review of a district decision to stop allowing parents to eat lunch with their children.
The parental visits were cut temporarily soon after the Sandy Hook shootings, said Leib Elementary Principal Troy Weistling. And after further discussion with district staff, the elementary schools agreed in recent weeks to make a permanent ban.
The decision, similar to one taken at Central York, means increased student safety, Weistling told the board at the Monday meeting, because it cuts down on adults roaming the halls.
Parents and other family members had been able to sign in at lunch time and eat in the cafeteria with their child.
"I do believe there's some disappointment. However, most individuals -- all, actually -- that I spoke with believed it
was a reasonable decision to make," Weistling said.
Concerns: It didn't sound reasonable to board member Kristen Ventre, who said she and the board weren't made aware of the decision.
"I'm the one who is blindsided at the grocery store," Ventre told Weistling of community concern.
Ventre said she agrees with the premise but it unfairly punishes parent volunteers who must have clearances with the FBI and police in order to volunteer.
What's the harm in allowing them to stay in the cafeteria for a half-hour if they are already in the schools, Ventre asked.
Weistling said that aspect hadn't been thoroughly considered as yet.
The board asked him to meet with the district's safety and security committee to examine the decision and see if any changes are recommended.
Board president Bryan Rehm showed support for the ban, saying allowing volunteers with clearances to have lunch in schools creates a "two-class" system.
Adults need to be supervised throughout the building, he said, because of student safety, regardless of clearances.
That didn't sit well with board member Rob McIlvaine Jr..
"They are volunteering their valuable time. I think you should be able to go through the gosh darn cafeteria line," McIlvaine said.
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