Parents sue Birmingham schools over money for supplies

Lawsuit says Birmingham Public Schools violate state policy by asking parents to pay for public school supplies

By Sandra Ali - Anchor/Reporter

BIRMINGHAM, Mich. - School may be on break but school supplies are causing quite a controversy in Birmingham.

The parents of a 6th-grader at Derby Middle School have filed a lawsuit, possibly a class action suit, against Birmingham Public Schools claiming the district is violating state policy by asking families to pay for supplies used in a public school.

The lawsuit specifically mentions a $10 notebook which comes with a school calendar, a $6 school-issued lock and a gym uniform which includes shorts and a T-shirt for $19.

Not all parents at the school are backing the lawsuit.

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"I don't mind, I mean, I rather my daughter has everything she needs, so we're willing to pay for it and contribute toward whatever they need for each class that they're in," said parent Jennifer Krut.

The district's attorney released the following statement:

"This lawsuit doesn't have any merit," said attorney Timothy Mullins. "There is nothing inappropriate about asking parents to pay for certain school supplies."

Amy Banta, a Birmingham mother, said she is not surprised the school would be asking parents for money when it comes to supplies for the students.

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"It doesn't bother me that they would charge for school supplies. I feel that the state doesn't give the school enough money anyway. I am more than willing to pay for it," Banta said.

The lawsuit will go before a Circuit Court judge next week. The lawsuit seeks $25,000 in damages which could change if more parents jump onboard.

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