Legislator calls for employee to be fired for humiliating students
And we wonder where kids learn to be bullies? Guess they teach a lot of things
The person responsible ought to be fired.
Unbelievable. The School Lunch Nazis.No Food for you, 8 year old
boy. No food for you 10 year old girl...
1. The children who had their lunches thrown away are NOT living below he
poverty line. If they were, they would be receiving free or reduced lunch. The
parents could afford the lunch, but for whatever reason had not refilled their
child's account. 2. This has NOTHING to do with politics. NOTHING. One
person - whose political alignment is not known - decided to take matters into
his or her own hands out of frustration for parents who flaked on keeping their
kids accounts current. 3. This was definitely the wrong way to handle it.
Humiliating a child when their parents fail to pay their lunch balance is not
okay. 4. Again, the actions were that of ONE person. Not the state of Utah, not
lawmakers, not teachers, not administrators - just one person who was probably a
food service worker or district office employee who did something stupid. and
finally 5. State law dictates that elementary students with unpaid lunches can
have a fruit and a milk. That law has existed for years so I am really not sure
what lawmakers were doing there aside from looking for a photo opp. and some PR.
crazladieDraper, UTI salute your kindness and compassion.
All this whining and self-righteousness on the part of many commentors is really
troubling.Just chill and feed the kids--don't humiliate them,
or threaten them, or scare them, or throw away their food(how stupid is THAT??)
If there is a problem with the kid's account, it can be worked
out in a sensible reasonable way. Once my kids got lunches for a
week and a half for free, me thinking I had more in their lunch accounts than I
did. Eventually, the secretary in charge got a hold of me, and I went in paid
for the past week and a half as well as for the next month. She was super,
didn't make a fuss or make me feel like a loser or an idiot, just said
everybody gets confused sometimes and that it was no big deal. Bless
her. Apparently she is one of the few not ready to throw kids or parents
to the lions for a little mistake or oversight. If non-payment is
egregious and chronic, there is probably bigger issues with the children's
overall welfare that the school councilor could be looking into.
I remember when I was in elementary school (in the 80's) we were given a
card with our name on it if we were taking a school provided lunch that day
BEFORE we got into the serving line. And those cards were carried over from year
to year. In fact the teachers used them for more than just tracking lunches. If
we brought our own lunch (which I almost always did because the food they served
was gross at best...) we went straight to our assigned table. Seems like at the
elementary school level, a child's account status could be determined
beforehand by scanning a plastic card. To me it's just wasteful (and
counter-intuitive) to let a child go all the way through a line, get their food,
and THEN determine that they can't pay for it. Whether the food is thrown
away or given to a child that can't afford it, the district's going to
pay for it, so why not let the child eat? Fix the problem, but let's not
penalize the kids when it's their parents (or possibly the school/district)
who are to blame.
The fact that a parent is irresponsible is not the child's fault. I
believe it was Elder Oaks that addressed this in general conference. We are all
to look after the welfare of children. Children should be treated the same.
Shame on anyone who would embarrass a child in front of their peers. Throwing
a lunch in the trash was a very irresponsible way to handle the situation.
Reminds of the senior citizen in Orem who was arrested for not watering her
lawn. Poor judgment was displayed in this situation.
After reading the article today in the SL Tribune, I'm more confused than
ever. Apparently removing lunches from kids happens all the time -- this
isn't an isolated instance. What's wrong with buying tickets like we
used to, and you give your ticket to the nice person at the door of the
cafeteria? Worked great for decades. Sounds like the school districts need to
improve their system, and it sounds like parents need to pay their bills.
I started work at a junior high as a new administrator. I was tasked to find
out why it took so long to get through the lunch line, thus kids were either not
getting their food or were always late to class. It took me five minutes to see
the problem. The kids had 15 different types of soda pop, in addition to four
different types of milk, lemonade, apple juice and orange juice. Plus they had
20 different types of chips and about 20 different types of cookies. Lucky we
were computerized so I order a sales audit and determined the four most popular
types of each item. The kids had been taking so long to decide which item they
wanted others were not getting served. We let the kids and faculty know what
was going to happen. We had very few complaints and the lines moved quickly.
ALL students and staff were fed in a timely manner.
Obviously this was an unacceptable way for a problem to be addressed. However, I
think we have a much bigger problem in the way our children eat and how they
view the food supply. Today I ate school lunch with two granddaughters and their
first grade class. I am happy to say that the granddaughters ate their chicken
legs, rice, broccoli, roll and pink applesauce. When I looked around at other
plates, however, I saw chicken legs with nary a nibble, broccoli servings that
looked untouched, barely bitten rolls and partially consumed applesauce. One boy
ate one bite of his food. The granddaughters have been encouraged to eat all
kinds of foods since infancy. Their parents live frugally, using home grown
vegetables in the summer and careful buying as a general policy. Their mom
served a mission in Romania and one of the girls' favorite dishes is
Sarmali, a meat, rice, tomato sour krout crock pot mixture. Teaching children to
eat well, and to APPRECIATE what is available is a job for parents. School staff
have the job os being sensible, which is tough for some.
Milk and a roll? Milk and fruit? Milk and a cheese sandwich? Inmates get better
than that. I don't think inmates should only get a roll and milk. Why
can't we do the same for a child? Can you make it for four hours on 8ounces
of 1% milk and a enriched white roll? You assume the parents bought the nice
clothes new. They could be thrift or a gift from aunt Jane for all you know.
Maybe everyone gets lunch and people opt out if they want to bring from home? If
the parent owes more than x take them to small claims court. Or just suck up the
cost. Do not keep track or who eats what. Ask for the fee at the start of the
term. No cash register needed, I just saved the school a staff position.
Everyone eats unless they bring a lunch. They spent more money responding to
this problem than they lost feeding every child.
What would Jesus do?
@Seek to understandYou're missing the point, albeit, your
comment in and of itself are valid. The point is that the meals were taken away
from these little children which is exceptionally mean thing to do. What
happened to being Christians. I cannot fathom that someone would be so cruel
The Constitution does not give the Federal government the power to do or say
anything on the subject of public school lunches, so anything the Federal
government does or says on the subject is unconstitutional.
So you have a school lunch manager, being overseen and ruled over by a district
lunch person, who is now called on the carpet by the district officials, who are
being belittled by a couple of well fed state legislatures, because of their
method of accounting to the federal government means they let the freeloading
kids get their meal first. My My we live in a complex world. Try teaching
that in a civics class
Shame on Dabakis for not eating his vegetables!What kind of example does
that set for our students?
If the school can provide cheese sandwich and milk it can provide overcooked
peas and ravioli, or whatever is on the real menu that day. I have a hard time
accepting that what is fed costs $3 a day. And certainly the milk and cheese
sandwich costs something. And the other child on the regular lunch is forced to
take two from the fruit and veg choice and likely will toss one of those
choices. Isn't hat a slap in the face? This is the waste the Pope was
talking about. Taking back a tray of food, tossing it for health reasons,
handing them a milk and cheese sandwich, sending them to the table siting with
the kids who are eating what they selected but not allowed to eat all for a few
dollars. Why can't lunch be on the school? Next kids will be required to
bring or pay for toilet paper. I would think the fact the cheese sandwich and
milk doesn't meet the new lunch rules on nutrition being against fed rules
and put fed funds in jeopardy, not tossing out perfectly good food into the
trash and handing over a sandwich.
So let me get this straight. The lunch room manager is worried about the cost
of the food, so she throws out the food that the student would have eaten and
didn't save anything at all. And then on top of that, she provided
additional food at an incremental cost? Yeah...if that is how cost problems are
solved in public education then so much more makes sense to me now?
Two things.They don't check whether a child has money until
AFTER he or she fills his tray? Really? You check first. If it's the first
time, you tell the child to bring money tomorrow and contact the parent. The
child eats. If it's the second time, the child is again told to bring
money, the parents are contacted. The child gets only the fruit and milk, but
they know up front.What's the point of throwing away the food?
That's just stupid. If it's not paid for, it's not trash. Might
as well not waste it. Again, you have to check first.
I do understand the statements made about having the parents responsible for
feeding their children, and I do agree. What I don't agree with is, in
this case, we could say that a "bully" came to the students, and in
front of their (the Students) peers, said give me your lunch.That is
not right. No district person has the right to take anyone's lunch away
I ask a food service person in another school district in another state, what
they thought about this.I was told that had the worker given the students
anything other than what they did, the district could have lost their federal
funding.The children should have been informed before they loaded their
trays as to the status of their lunch tickets.As for the politicians that
are making hay with this issue. Why charge for the school lunch when Uncle Sugar
has plenty of money to pay for everything else.When I was in grade school,
I couldn't have school lunch because I lived three blocks from the
school.Therefore I along with others were denied lunch because we lived to
close to the school.I noticed the children yelling for school lunch were
wearing the latest clothing fashions and their parents couldn't pay for the
lunch.If I was on the jury to convict the lunch ladies, I would have found
them not guilty.
I love how everyone wants to Fire someone over this.Fire Obama if
you really want to make a change.Also, I doubt they were
"blindsided" I bet they had calls and notes home telling them about but
they only had enough money to pay their cable tv bill.Also, in our
"zero tolerance" school system their are not many people left who can
actually think for themselves and solve problems.But that is what
you get when you constantly react to hysterical people who don't want Guns
in the schools and won't allow games to be played at recess. (truly...look
at the rules schools have. It is silly) and dare I add the same gender
attraction people wanting their ways taught to everyone inside the schools.
Geez!Can we all just tone done the nonsense and get back to helping
our kids learn?
Parents who can't afford to put a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a
cookie in a brown bag should get rid of their smart phone and cigarettes.
This is not a matter of money, as demonstrated by the fact that the school could
afford to throw away the food. (Who, seriously, throws away perfectly good
food?! That's a major sin in our house.)This is all a matter of
wielding too much power and throwing that around.There's a
bully (or more) in the district. Get 'em out.
I am an educator and worked in schools for thirty-two years. In this situation
there was an error made. An error that caused embarrassed for the children. Yes,
the lunch clerk and lunch manager should have prepared the students for a
reduced lunch before entering the line. However, the other side of the
story has not been addressed. The parents did not pay or keep up on their
child's lunch account. Generally, my experience suggests lunch notes go
home weekly, phone calls are made to the parents of children with delinquent
accounts, and finally the child is asked to bring a cold lunch from home. When
this doesn't happen, the child is told they will receive a roll and milk.
No one wants this to happen. I personally have paid for many lunches while
waiting for a parent to step up to the plate. I don't like thinking about
how many lunches my clerk and lunch manager have purchased. No one, no one wants
to see a child go hungry.
$3 per day. 5x4x($3) = $60/month. Yep, I can still do math. Parents, all my life
I made my lunch when I was a kid from K-12. Why can't your kids make their
own lunch like I did between 7-12 graides. my kids do the same which my wife and
myself pat on my back for doing it. And you know what, some (or how many) kids
throw away those fuits when they buy their lunch was a waist of money. Why not
next to the garbage have a basket of fruits to put in so other kids can have
them.No, those adults should have NEVER throw awway those food in
the first place which is too harsh to those students. That is STUPID!
Ever notice how Weiler and Dabakis never seem to miss a photo op? They always
seem to show up just as the TV cameras arrive. Serendipity or self serving
Obviously this got blown out of proportion. A lot of parents space-out their
need to pay for the children's lunch and someone made a poor example out of
the situation. Hopefully a good lesson was learned by everyone.
Just a little bit of grandstanding in my opinion. The problem will be solved
without them stepping into the limelight.
I do not care what the school's policy is her or at any school for that
matter.When this Lunch Lady took away the first child's lunch she or
he was way out of line !!If I was a parent I would be infuriated, these
are children not animals what is this world coming to ?
I'm confused. If this is a federally funded program, why do parents owe
money? No matter who owes the money, children should not be punished. There
are ways to make this work. This article is so sad! It shows how far we have
fallen as a people.
@Truth:Hold on, for just one minute with your "These are liberal
educators . . ." bit. It's because of liberal educators that poor
students whose families do not have enough money to make ends meet get free and
reduced lunches in the first place. For some of these kids, the only proper
meal they eat all day is school lunch. If you are looking for an attitude to
blame here, look no further than the first comment in this thread. It is the
attitude of people like 'Seek to Understand' who threaten the
assistance offered to these students.Also, this took place in Utah
(the most conservative, Republican state in the U.S.) so the chances that it was
a liberal who made the decision to throw away those lunches are slim at best.
The district nutrition manager should be fired!
I take it the ones who have no sympathy for the children, feel you are doing
just fine, and you and your children have the freedom to look down your noses on
others less fortunate, but should you lose your cushy jobs, homes and security
as many have had happen during the financial downturn of the past few years, and
now people losing their unemployment benefits I bet you will have a different
opinion. But not only that I bet if something goes wrong and someone asks
you for a donation for something or to contribute to some tragedy you will step
up and make a donation then make sure everyone knows you can afford it.
Shame on the ones who don't feel for the children who were humiliated to
the point it may damage them far into their future.
Terrible thing to have happen to any child. The solution is for the state
legislators to stay out of this. Let the school districts deal with this. What a
novel idea elected school board members dealing with a problem. ( elected being
the operative term ). As for the person that took the lunch from the child . . .
terminate their employment. That kind of decision making is inexcusable in any
I can't believe anyone thinks it is okay for a child to sit in a lunchroom
with a cafeteria without a lunch and remain hungry? How is the garbage a better
place than a persons stomach? I think it's also damaging for students with
lunches to see another child's lunch tossed in the trash. It would be
equally damaging to pass another's lunch to the next student in line. Glad
that option is off the table for health reasons. No wonder people in this
country have food issues. Is the garbage going to pay for the meal? It's
not the child's fault the account isn't up to date. In some cases it
is a glitch. In some cases it is the parents not realizing they qualify for a
reduced lunch. Or maybe a forgotten lunch and the child went through the line
not having the money in the account because the meal was not anticipated.
Goodness, the amount of money the school collects from parents for lunches is a
small tiny percentage of what the school spends to run the school even if
collection was 100%, it's a drop in the bucket..
This should not become a political issue, in my opinion. Obviously, the way this
was handled was not appropriate. It is never appropriate to humiliate or
embarrass a child in front of his peers, or even in private. It is not the
child's fault that the lunch payment was behind. And yes, as Cookie999
stated above, mixing milk and an orange can be pretty upsetting for the stomach.
A better choice would be an apple, or a peanut butter sandwich. I have worked at
both middle school and elementary school in my town, and sometimes the school
lunches are pretty good, sometimes not so good. Too much pre-packaged food and
not enough freshly made food. In the school I worked at in Nevada, the school
lunches were very good, so I know it is possible. The head cook cared, and that
makes a difference.Sending notices home with children, especially
elementary aged, is not a dependable way to notify parents, either. Regardless,
I say feed the child, deal with the payment afterwards. Not a good example to
just throw it away.
I worked in the elementary cafeteria many years ago. At first, I was told that
my job was to enforce the previous rules. I soon found that many of these rules
were ridiculous, and asked to be able to "reform" them. I found that the
manager saw her responsibilities only as a job, instead of an opportunity to
change the lives and outlook of the children she "managed". The basic
rules remained the same, however, I implemented a compassionate and respectful
attitude, and the entire lunchroom atmosphere changed! I brought 2 extra tables
in where anyone could sit as long as they respected everyone else there. The
children were no longer made to "hurry" by being yelled at, and they
were able talk and relax as long as they did not impead the other children
coming in behind them. After several months of a more relaxed, and enjoyable
lunchroom, even the managers attitude changed! She saw the difference of gaining
respect by giving respect! It really is very simple! I have yet to enter a Jr.
High with this attitude! Is it really any wonder why the children "HATE"
school!? RESPECT the people you have been asked to educate educators!!!
I don't know how many of the hard-nosed comments on here are by LDS people,
but for those who are: "Are we not all beggars?" Please re-read Mosiah
4. The ugly side of conservatism shows up on a regular basis in the DN. Hurray
for these two legislators!
An unfortunate incident, but I think Weiler is off base. People make mistakes.
If we were to fire people every time they make a mistake of this magnitude, we
wouldn't have a single legislator. Help the person learn from this mistake
and then move on. You don't take away someone's livelihood for a just
one mistake like this one.
So a bunch of legislators show up to grandstand and pretend they actually care
about our children. Give me a break...
Those situations are hard on the children. I have had students that have only
received milk and a cheese sandwich because they owed too much money and I know
it was embarrassing for them. I have even given students granola bars from my
classroom. However, someone has to pay for the lunches. If they don't
qualify for free lunch, parents are responsible to pay for their child's
lunch. The school cannot provide free lunch to all of the children whose parents
don't pay the bill. The children are given something to eat, just not the
full lunch. If the parents truly did not receive notification then that is a
problem. It is also unfortunate the students were given lunch and then had it
taken away. That probably should have been handled differently. Perhaps they can
determine if the child has enough money in the account before they give them the
full lunch.Alternatively, if we want to make sure every child gets a free
lunch every day, and parents don't have to worry about feeding their child,
then we can always increase taxes. Food isn't free. Someone has to pay for
The self-serving pontificating posts from right-wing zealots and self-proclaimed
experts are really no surprise. It's easy to talk about the role of
government and that helping hands weaken families when you have a full
stomach.Every single study on educating children notes that hungry
kids do not become educated kids and the cycle of poverty is continued.
Economics 101 teaches that the small amount of money invested in school lunch
programs now pays for itself many times over in future taxes paid by educated
citizens.BTW The Uintah School is in Salt Lake City.
This is ridiculous. Just raise money the traditional way and "diagnose"
these kids as having ADHD and the school will get more then enough money from
the Feds to pay for the school lunches and an extra administrator for the school
There are many ways that the government spends money that I disagree with, but
providing free or discounted lunch at school to children who would otherwise go
hungry is not one of them.
Not a great PR move, Utah. You just had a rally at the capitol where you claimed
that you were opposed to gay marriage because it harms children, even though the
research indicating this harm turned out to be bogus. I think the research is
pretty clear, on the other hand, about the effects of denying children lunch and
throwing food away right in front of hungry children and all their peers in
order to shame them for unpaid school lunch balances.How anyone
could defend the actions at Uintah Elementary is beyond me. They talk about
hearts waxing cold in the last days...
I don't think anyone can learn if they are hungry or humiliated. Also, who
thinks a milk and an orange is going to help that much? Mixing dairy and citrus
will lead to an upset stomach for many.
It does not matter what the legal system will come up with, kids should never be
involved in that matter, and given them a sandwhich instead is hurting even more
for an unequal treatment.This is not good, like children suffer
under a fight between parents, so they do in School over lunch. And thrown away
is like telling them, waste food as adults do? This cannot be Utah,
not for the sake of all those Christians living.For this kind of bad
behavior, they should get lunch free for healing wounds.And for those
Libs/Reps, legal fights ought to be never in school over children learning.Why this kind of payments anyhow, should have been done way back, not during
So the lunch must be balanced before the transaction is finalized unless we
decide to throw their lunch away and give them an unbalanced substitute.In the old days there were lunch tickets in elementary school. You knew
if you had a ticket or not before you got the lunch. Now we have computerized
systems but it's too hard to use these amazing computer systems to create
reminder for the kid to take home the day before that the account is empty?We have some excellent teachers in our Utah schools but too many
administrators have no compassion or common sense.
From what my son tells me, the students are not getting the bang for our buck
when it comes to school lunches in Utah. He says they are sometimes
undercooked, stale and just disgusting. Many students end up throwing away a
lot of their food and wasting their parent's money anyways. Maybe
it's time for all students to start brown bagging it and do away with all
the problems associated with school served lunches. Let high school students go
off campus and get fast food. Problem solved...
These are liberal educators who think that by denying food to these kids is a in
your face for their 1% parents...problem is these parents are Libs too who think
that the real 1% ers do not live in Harvard Yale area and hate the 1%
too.....these people deserve each other.....
If any argument can be made that the State has a responsibility to educate its
citizens (especially children), then there is no reason why education should be
attempted on an empty stomach. In short, as long as there is public education,
there must be funding for feeding students.Feed these kids!
Why were Salt Lake School District officials doing there in the first place?
What jurisdiction do they have?
Seek to understand, I agree with you. Education is taking on the role of
parents way too much. I receive weekly emails about my child's account
balance and when it is low daily emails. I don't get lunch at work unless
I pay for it. Let's take away the parents lunch and give that to their
It may be wise for the school district to give kids with insufficient funds a
peanut butter and jelly sandwich and carton of milk (or some alternative for
those with allergies) instead of a regular lunch until their accounts are
We are in such big trouble when everyone, including our media, believes it is
the responsibility of the state to feed our children. This is one GIANT step
toward the big brother state that leads only to dependence and then
oppression.We must return the responsibility for children back to
their parents to feed, clothe and shelter them. Like everything else, if we
take away that responsibility it WEAKENS our families.Are there
others who feel this way? I am beginning to panic. It appears everyone believe
it is the state's job to feed our children. What is next?