The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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March 6, 2013

School revisits ban on parents eating lunch

DOVER — A school district in central Pennsylvania is reconsidering a new policy change that prevents parents from having lunch with elementary students.

The York Dispatch reported Wednesday that the Dover Area School Board is reviewing the policy, which was adopted after 20 first-graders and six educators were killed by a 20-year-old gunman at a Connecticut elementary school in December.

Central York School District has adopted a similar policy.

Leib Elementary Principal Troy Weistling said the policy increases safety because it cuts down on the number of adults roaming the halls.

"I do believe there's some disappointment," Weistling said. "However, most individuals — all, actually — that I spoke with believed it was a reasonable decision."

Some Dover school board members argued the policy unfairly punishes parent volunteers who must have clearances with the FBI and police in order to pitch in at the school.

"They are volunteering their valuable time. I think you should be able to go through the gosh-darn cafeteria line," board member Rob McIlvaine Jr. said.

The board directed administrators to meet with the district's safety and security committee to review the decision and consider whether changes are warranted.

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