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Legislator calls for employee to be fired for humiliating students

Published: Thursday, Jan. 30 2014 6:25 p.m. MST

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Mchenry, IL

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..

Arden, NC

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 enviornment.

Toledo, OH

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.

Blue Rapids , KS

The district nutrition manager should be fired!

Springville, UT


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.

Carson City, NV

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.

Sandy, UT

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 ?

jim l
West Jordan, UT

Just a little bit of grandstanding in my opinion. The problem will be solved without them stepping into the limelight.

Bluffdale, UT

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.

Ogden, UT

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 salesmanship?

DEW Cougars
Sandy, UT

$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!

Salt Lake City, UT

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.

Mom of 8
Hyrum, UT

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.

Big Bubba
Herriman, UT

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.

San Antonia, TX

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?

Don Ira
St George, UT

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.

Riverton, UT

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 from them.

my 2 cents worth
West Jordan, UT

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.

Just Wondering...
Gilbert, AZ

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?

Mchenry, IL

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.

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