Eighty two percent of Buffalo Public School students live below the poverty line, and some of those children can’t get breakfast at home. Enter: Breakfast in the Classroom, a program that provides students in public schools with breakfast each morning for no charge. However, the Buffalo Teachers Federation (BTF) has filed a grievance against its school district, claiming the program can lead to big clean-ups that lie outside of their expectations.
According to Buffalo’s WGRZ-TV, Phil Rumore, the president of the BTF, is not fundamentally opposed to children having breakfast in the classroom, but he wants to make sure the program is conducted in manner that takes in account the considerations of teachers.
"We want each school to sit-down and say what do we need to make this program work so we don't have the messes (and if so) they get cleaned up properly," Rumore told the station. "We don't (want) stinky buckets with milk in them in the classroom, we don't (want) rodents, and we're not taking away from instructional time."
Rumore told the station the district has presented a written offer and he is confident it will be settled soon. He said, "[The district must] guarantee (teachers) that if we have a complaint about rodents, there will be somebody there the next day...and that a spill will get taken care of by custodians right away."
Jessica Bauer Walker serves as health chair of the District Parent Coordinating County, and told the station spills can be "a great opportunity to teach children to clean up after themselves and nobody has had issues with pizza parties and birthday parties and the fruit and vegetable program that's in the schools. Many of the younger grades also eat lunch in the classroom."