Wrong Punishment

THE SWITZERLAND of Ohio Local Board of Education is getting tough with some of its students.

The board has voted to begin penalizing students who are delinquent with their lunch accounts. The penalties will impact those students who are more than $50 in arrears with their food bill.

Punishment for those owing more than $50 is a harsh one. Impacted students will not be allowed to participate in extra-curricular activities. That would include athletics and the band.

Taking away extracurriculars is taking away part of the educational process from students. Athletics and other activities are extensions of the classroom. Life lessons and values are exacted from extracurricular activities, with sports obviously being the foremost.

To deny students participation is cheating their total academic experience.

A better mode of punishment would be to have those students in question work off their debt. It would keep them participating in worthwhile events while also providing the district with an expanded work force at no cost.

There are all sorts of chores and tasks students could perform that would enable their other employees to tackle other work projects. Students would gleam more out of working off their debt, rather than sitting idly and growing more frustrated.

A myriad of tasks could be given to those students, such as office duty, helping in the cafeteria or help clean the gym or playing fields. It would lend to a much healthier scenario for all those involved.

The Switzerland of Ohio School District has every right to be properly compensated for its lunch costs. District officials just need to tweak its process for making good on those not paying.

Idle time lends itself to potential trouble for youths. We believe in working rather than sitting.