Archive for Friday, February 17, 2006

Branson not targeting school lunch periods

February 17, 2006

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Lawrence high school students don't need to worry about the county's top prosecutor going after their open lunch privileges.

"This is not a subject that my office is 'pursuing' with the school board," Dist. Atty. Charles Branson wrote Thursday during an online chat on the Journal-World's Web site.

Branson received several questions challenging him for comments he made this week that open lunch periods for Lawrence High School and Free State High School should be reviewed by the school board.

Branson had said he was worried that when students leave campus for lunch it can lead to truancy and even a fatality if a student gets into an accident while rushing back to school.

But Branson said he was a little surprised about the weight given to his remarks Wednesday in a J-W front page story.

"My comments were directed to the impact open lunches have on truancy and other matters my office sees," Branson wrote during the chat.

"I have no intention of making this an issue for my office other than to say that there are practical implications of open lunch for our office. I believe it is a subject worth discussing, but it is a matter that is entirely for the school board," he wrote.

On another topic, Branson said that his office was getting close to setting up a consumer protection program.

"We have been reviewing and pursuing some consumer issues," he said. "We are not completely functional yet in this aspect. We expect to be fully functional next month."

To read the entire chat transcript, see video clips from a post-chat interview and make your comments, go to www2.ljworld.com/news/chats/newsmakers/.

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