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Many object to class fees stopping students from choosing class at Oak Grove H.S.

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OAK GROVE, Mo. -- A student's class fee was paid by a private donor, after an Oak Grove mother brought to light an issue that seemed to hit a nerve with many in the community.

mother1Angela Mullin was upset that the school was charging her a fee for her son's elective class. She says her son was singled out, even though she told the teacher she couldn't afford it.

Adam Salmon, Oak Grove High School principal, says the school board will discuss the issue on Monday, but he says, some classes have greater expenses than others and therefore, they have fees.

Salmon says students are not forced to take certain electives, they can choose ones without a fee.

principal"If you look at the syllabus for this particular class that we were talking about with this student in this case, it's says directly on the syllabus that this carries a fee with it, and if there's a problem with that, contact the teacher, and she'll help work it out," said Salmon.

He says Mullin informed the office she could not pay her son's elective fee, and was told to speak with him. He says Mullin never came to see him.

"Classes that we do offer require supplies, sometimes the shop classes, the food classes, the art classes, they take needs," says Salmon.

FOX 4 received many messages on the story with offers to help Mullin pay the outstanding balance, but it was a topic of discussion many other places as well.

88.5"We were giving away the last tickets we had for this big concert at the Sprint Center, and so the phones are lighting up and we're like 'Oh they're calling to get tickets,' and they were all calling to make offers to help," says Melony McKaye, a co-host for the morning show of Life 88.5.

She and co-host Wayne Geiger we're discussing FOX 4's report about Angela Mullin on their show this morning when the phone lines lit up.

"We could understand from both perspectives, the school has rules, but here's this woman who's doing her best to try and make it," adds Geiger.

motherKrista Stalcup was among the many people who understood the school's perspective, but also understood Mullin's predicament and felt it wasn't right for kids without funds to have to avoid classes they might enjoy.

"I just had a lot of sympathy for the family and for the student because I know that my daughter really feels a part of her school by getting involved in the different things that the school has to offer," said Stalcup, a mother of three.

"It's kind of sad to think that students avoid signing up for classes where there's a fee involved," says Stalcup.

She says her daughter, who goes to school in a different district also has many fees.

"They should be able to take any class that they want to take whether there's a fee involved or not, it would be nice if there was a fund available for any curricular classes," Stalcup says.

Salmon says Mullin's fee has been taken care of by an anonymous donor. He says they appreciate all the calls for donations, and the school board is holding a meeting Monday to better address this issue.

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