BCSC considers policy on payment methods for school events

A Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. board member has proposed implementing a policy that would require schools to accept both cash and credit cards as payment for tickets to school-sponsored events.

The school board had its first reading of the policy at its regular meeting on Monday but has not voted on its approval yet. The policy was drafted by board member Jason Major with help from BCSC attorney Michael McIver.

“While one method may be preferred by a school, each option shall be offered and made available to a ticket purchaser to ensure equitable access to all potential attendees,” the policy draft states. “Additionally, any items for sale by the school during the event (concessions, school spirit wear, etc…) shall also offer multiple payment options.”

The policy adds that schools should ensure security measures are in place to avoid breaches of credit card data.

Additionally, purchases would be generally nonrefundable under the proposed policy, but a refund could be made available to the ticket holder at the school’s discretion if an event is canceled.

“If the event is postponed, then a refund may be made available if requested, but it is highly encouraged that the ticket holder attend the event as originally planned,” the policy draft states.

Major said at a previous work session on policy that he attended an event in the spring where several attendees, including himself, had a difficult time paying by card. He added that there are students, grandparents and lower-income individuals who don’t have credit cards.

Major told The Republic that when he refers to credit cards in the policy, he is also including debit cards.

“I’m trying to protect those who may not have these tools to pay by requiring acceptance primarily as cash and optionally as electronic,” he said.

BCSC does not have an existing policy on the subject of payment methods for school events, said Superintendent Jim Roberts.

Columbus North High School’s athletics department told The Republic that it has gone cashless for sporting events, with attendees either purchasing a digital ticket ahead of time or paying with credit or debit at the gate.

The department announced the transition about a year ago. At the time, North athletics director Brian Lewis said the change was expected to speed up the entry process for events and reduce human error in regards to bookkeeping.

This October, Columbus East High School’s athletics department shared on social media that, starting this winter, attendees have the option to purchase digital tickets, but cash will still be accepted at all sporting events.

The East athletics department told The Republic that one exception is events that are run by the Indiana High School Athletic Association, such as state playoffs. In these cases, the IHSAA regulates payment methods.

North’s athletics department said that the association has gone completely electronic in regards to payment.