News12 First at Five/ Monday, Dec. 23, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Parents and school leaders are reacting to comments from a Georgia Senate candidate.
Congressman Jack Kingston told an audience of supporters that students on free lunch programs should sweep floors so they learn nothing really comes free.
Kingston spent the next couple days clarifying that comment say it's all about work ethic.
Congressman and Senate candidate Jack Kingston has been on a PR tour clarifying his statements made about students on free lunch.
"Why don't you have kids pay a dime or pay a nickel, to instill in them that there is no such thing, as a free lunch or maybe sweep the floor in the cafeteria," Kingston said.
"Clearly it shows that he is out of touch. It shows that people we put in office should really get it," Rep. Ernest Smith said.
"Are you sweeping the floors in congress for your pay," parent Monique Braswell said.
Mother of four, Braswell disagrees with Kingston's idea of having kids on free lunch pick up a broom after they put down they're lunch room trays.
"The job of a child is to learn in school, pay attention and to learn that is my child's responsibility," Braswell said.
This year because of the Community Eligibility Option all 32,000 students in Richmond County Schools receive free lunch no matter how much they're parents earn. Burke County Schools are using similar programs.
"Think what we would gain as a society of getting the myth out of their head that there is no free lunch," said Kingston.
Wilma Allen knows a thing or two about teaching kids morals.
"I was a Kindergarten teacher and little kids can't be expected to understand that they have to pay for their food. I don't know that I agree with that," Allen said.