The parent of a cheerleader prompted a deeper discussion into feeding the auxiliary students at away football games.
Jason Wesson, whose daughter is a cheerleader at North Webster High School, says a policy letter was sent out with students to parents at NWHS on how the school will feed its auxiliary students on away games.
“If we can take a football team and feed them when they go off, why can’t we feed all the other kids?” he asked board members. “Is the football team more important than your auxiliary just because you’re in band, a cheerleader, dance line or whatever?”
He says it really became an issue with him last football season when his daughter went to Delhi to which NWHS brought a huge crowd.
“By half time, the concession stands were totally wiped out,” he said. “They closed it down. For your auxiliary, during the third quarter, that’s when they are able to get out of their seats and go to the concession stand. They get there, and guess what? There’s nothing for the kids to eat. So, they load them back on the bus and send them home.”
NWHS principal Jeff Franklin didn’t go into any great detail about what took place on that trip, other than to say the school promised NWHS a number of things that didn’t come to pass.
“I will admit that we had a little problem in Delhi last year,” he said. “I think all the principals try to do the same thing on this, and the kids generally take stuff with them to eat, and a lot of times, that’s the (most fun) part of the trip – them being able to pack their lunch and take their lunch with them.”
However, he says if they do take a long trip and they aren’t able to eat, they do provide food for them.
Part of the issue is other expenses as well, Franklin said. With expenses for fuel and paying the bus drivers, about $14,000 was spent to cover those expenses last year, he added.
The football players are fed from funds from the quarterback club. The band also has a booster club in which they have fundraisers to raise money for equipment and supplies they need, but they do not provide food on the trips.
However, not all of the extracurricular athletics, like cheerleading, dance line, etc. have nonprofit booster clubs to raise funds. They have to do independent fundraisers.
Board member Jerry Lott suggested the principal’s association meet to discuss the issue.
“If it’s a problem at North Webster, Minden would have the same situation,” Lott said. “Lakeside and Doyline would have the same situation.”
Board member Frankie Mitchell says when she was in high school, she was a band member, and someone always made sure they were fed and feels they need to look into it.
“Our cafeteria people made us some sandwiches,” she said. “Sometimes it was just cheese and bread, but it was the love they had more than anything else.”
Wesson says he understands there’s nothing the school board can do, but he feels the more people know about it, the sooner a solution can be found.
The principal’s association is expected to come back with a summary of their discussion by the end of the school year, Franklin, president of the principals association, said.