What happened at a Salt Lake City elementary school would be enough to make anybody’s blood boil when 40 different children had their lunches taken away and thrown out right in front of them, officials took their lunches because their lunch accounts were empty.
Parents freaked out at the incident, and now officials at Uintah Elementary have had to backtrack and apologize for what they did.
In a report from the Salt Lake Tribune, the incident as well as the follow up were described;
Jason Olsen, a Salt Lake City District spokesman, said the district’s child-nutrition department became aware that Uintah had a large number of students who owed money for lunches.
As a result, the child-nutrition manager visited the school and decided to withhold lunches to deal with the issue, he said.
But cafeteria workers weren’t able to see which children owed money until they had already received lunches, Olsen explained.
The workers then took those lunches from the students and threw them away, he said, because once food is served to one student it can’t be served to another.
Children whose lunches were taken were given milk and fruit instead.
The district attempted to contact parents with balances via phone Monday and Tuesday, Olsen said, but weren’t able to reach them all before the child-nutrition manager decided to take away the students’ lunches.
Apparently the school district posted an apology on Facebook, which read ;
This situation could have and should have been handled in a different manner. We apologize.
We are also investigating what type of notification parents may or may not have received prior to this week. The schools says they inform students when they go through the lunch line if they have a low balance. They say they also send notes home in the student’s Monday folders. However, when contacted Monday or Tuesday, many parents were surprised by the news. The district has specific guidelines for school kitchen managers on how parents should be notified, and we are currently investigating to see if these guidelines were followed correctly.
We understand the feelings of upset parents and students who say this was an embarrassing and humiliating situation. We again apologize and commit to working with parents in rectifying this situation and to ensuring students are never treated in this manner again.
With the national discussion regarding children and malnutrition being the way it is, these people should be absolutely ashamed of themselves. The food had already been prepared and given to the students, at which point they could have eaten it instead of going hungry, however the people at the school thought it would be a good idea to teach them some sort of lesson, for some reason, and threw their lunches directly in the trash. Apparently the students were crying their eyes out over how humiliated they were, not to mention the fact they had to starve through lunch while the other kids got to eat.