TPSB Adopts Resolution to Feed Children; One Member Objects Citing Health Concerns
Responding to Covid-19, beginning 11 today the four high schools of Terrebonne Parish will be handing out lunches to kids.
The Terrebonne Parish School Board, and Superintendent Philip Martin discussed and voted on a resolution which streamlined the decision making process of the governing body and supply and arrange for the delivery of meals to children 18 years or younger, Friday, March 20.
The meals will be handed out today from 11am-1pm and with help from the National Guard will be offering meals Monday-Friday. All four high schools will be providing food: Terrebonne High School, Ellender High School, H.L. Bourgeois, and South Terrebonne.
“The authority to supply and arrange for the delivery of meals to all children of the parish, eighteen years of age or younger, at no costs to child or his/her family,” the resolution says. When asked if it was limited to students of the schools delivering, Martin said, “Any student from anywhere, it could be a kid from Texas.”
All school board members voted to adopt the resolution it its entirety except one: Roger Dale Dehart. He said he was concerned that if someone had the coronavirus, this could foster its spread. He argued that if the schools were closed down to halt the spread, then bringing the people together for food was defeating the purpose.Citing St. Charles Parish’s recent cancellation of its feeding program as an example, Dehart said, “It just takes one case to start spreading,” he said.
“I want to feed the children,” said Dehart, but “this epidemic has changed the world.”
Members of the board kept one chair’s space between one another, leaving many members seated in the audience – which was sparse. When speaking, Dehart stepped up to the public microphone to address other members of the Board with his concerns.
The streamlining of decision making vested most of the decision making power into Martin, allowing for him to enter agreements and contracts without Board approval. This was restricted to purchasing of materials, equipment, supplies or services such as sanitation, cleaning, technology and other services and supplies related to the pandemic response.
It also allowed the continue of pay for school employees while schools were closed.