RICHLANDS, Va.—Central office staff has completed its investigation and found no evidence of lunches being taken from students by the Principal at Richlands High School.

Assistant Superintendent of Schools Dr. George Brown told the school Board at its March 14 meeting that Central office Staff spent a week and a half at the school interviewing students, teachers and cafeteria personnel.

He said they reviewed video and saw no evidence that Principal Kim Ringstaff took anyone’s lunch and that the denying lunch was limited to one lunch period and cafeteria personnel had been told to refuse lunch to students that had green cards.

Brown said that was 10 to 16 students and they had been told they could not charge anymore and asked to bring their lunch. He said they were stopped at the pay station and no one took any trays from students at the tables.

He said the county has taken several steps and is planning other changes to eliminate the problem. He said the school system is looking at debit cards and a system that will allow parents to access their children’s accounts just like they do information on power school.

He said plans are also underway to have backpack programs at all five schools in the Richlands area to assist with feeding students. Board Member H.S. Caudill said there were a lot of allegations that proved to be unfounded.

Chairman David Woodard asked his fellow board members if they wanted to change the policy they implemented two years ago that no child was to be refused food. No one said anything and Woodard said “I guess that’s still our policy.

Hungry No More a charitable group founded to assist with the problem met with school officials last week and agreed to help with funds to cover the charge accounts. Brown said the school system is working with other groups on ways to get more children on free and reduced lunch if they qualify.

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