Students at a NSW primary school were given free popcorn rewards if their parents paid their fees early, the decision has been slammed as “public shaming of children”.

The popcorn was handed out with canteen lunch orders on Monday to children at Bondi Public School whose parents had paid their fees.

Some students missed out because their parents had not paid, leaving at least one child in tears, reports SMH.

P&C Federation president Susie Boyd said the popcorn giveaway – described by Mr Jones as a “fun incentive” – humiliated students and embarrassed parents, who may not have paid for many different reasons.

“It’s public shaming of those children,” she said. “I spoke to a parent whose child, who did receive the popcorn, didn’t eat it, and felt really bad that they were put into that situation. It was dividing children as young as four-and-a-half.”

Parents’ views on the move were split, with some saying they were furious that the school excluded children because of their parents’ failure to pay voluntary fees, and others saying it would be an exercise in resilience.

Recently we shared one Mums rant about parents who refuse to pay ‘voluntary’ school fees, not everyone agreed. Read more here.

Share your comments below

  • Definitely shouldn’t be a reward or punishment for the child find incentives that are privately for the parents.


  • I don’t agree with this, very unfair on the children as they don’t understand.


  • I know of one Private School who actually gives a discount off the fees if they are paid early enough in advance. A small child could choke on popcorn. It could also have a high salt or sugar content.
    The school has a Duty of Care to ensure the child is not a special diet for any reason when any food or drinks besides water is given to a child. Some Diabetics can be ill after eating anything containing salt.


  • It seems this is punishing children for something they have no control over. Education is so important, I don’t understand why some parents don’t pay the fees.


  • I understand we all have different circumstances but as an educator I get fed up of the families who just don’t pay their fees. Life is hard but it’s a responsibility that needs to be paid.


  • Public shaming and any sort of shaming is terrible and to reward with food is questionable too.

    • When there are campaigns against bullying this does seem quite odd!


  • Oh dear me. Why they thought this was ok! Plus sorry popcorn isn’t a great reward!


  • I agree that it wasn’t a good move!


  • It just is not right,who thought of this crazy idea!


  • Bit sad for the kids who’s parents hadnt paid but if the parents were experiencing financial hardship etc they should have spoken to the school and I’m sure their kids would have still recieved the free popcorn.


  • I agree, that’s just cruel for those kids whose parents haven’t paid. It’s not the kids issues whether school fees are paid or not. Some parents simply can’t afford to for whatever reasons


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