Kids not allowed to attend school Christmas dinner because parents couldn't pay

(Photo: Ranveig/Dodo / Wikimedia Commons)(Photo: Ranveig/Dodo / Wikimedia Commons)

At least seven pupils at a primary school in Hellevoetsluis were told that they could not attend the Christmas dinner at school tomorrow because their parents did not pay the voluntary parent contribution of 50 euros. The school management of De Wateringe only changed their minds about this after being confronted by newspaper AD.

A spokesperson for the school would not say whether the newspaper made them allow all pupils to attend, instead speaking of the "Christmas spirit", according to AD. The school would give no further comment. 

The idea is that the students themselves each bring something to eat to the Christmas dinner, and the primary school will provide something to drink. So it is not the case that the kids whose parents didn't pay the voluntary contribution were not welcome because the dinner cost the school a lot of money, Agnes Oosterboer, a mother in the neighborhood, said to the newspaper.

She called the school's attitude shameful. "There are a lot of people living in the neighborhood who are not well-off. I understand that a number of parents used their rent allowance to pay the parent contribution because they do not want their child to be left out", Oosterboer said. 

Schools are allowed to ask parents for a contribution for extra activities, but not for things that are necessary for their child's education. This contribution is always voluntary - schools can not oblige parents to pay it.