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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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Murray, UT

Shame on Dabakis for not eating his vegetables!
What kind of example does that set for our students?

Provo, ut

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

Clifton Palmer McLendon
Gilmer, TX

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.

South Jordan, UT

@Seek to understand

You'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 and mean.

Omaha, NE

What would Jesus do?

Mchenry, IL

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.

Nan BW
ELder, CO

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.

Heber City, UT

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.


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.

Clearfield, UT

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.

West Jordan, UT

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.

City, Ut

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.

City, Ut

Draper, UT

I salute your kindness and compassion. Thank you.

Salt Lake, UT

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.

Sandy, UT

Unbelievable. The School Lunch Nazis.

No Food for you, 8 year old boy. No food for you 10 year old girl...

Salt Lake City, UT

The person responsible ought to be fired.


And we wonder where kids learn to be bullies? Guess they teach a lot of things in school.

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