Comments about ‘Salt Lake school officials blame system glitch for lunch debacle’

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Published: Wednesday, Feb. 5 2014 8:40 p.m. MST

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Way of the Warrior
Arlington, WA

Yes, yes, that's it! After an in depth investigation it turns out it was a computer glitch that ripped the lunches out of the hands of children and threw them into the trash can. It's the computer's fault! On a side note, we admit it was really just a communication error on our part. No biggie. Problem solved.

Layton, UT

Lame. There's no way to undo the humiliation that the kids are feeling. They should at least get free lunch for the rest of the year...and don't compound the humiliation by publicizing it.

St George, Utah

Way of the Warrior has it right.
No -- the new payment is not to blame. The computer did not take away the trays, a person did. Apparently that person was on the bottom of the pecking order and has been placed on administrative leave. Go up the pecking order until you find the person that ordered the action. The school board says they do not yet know who that person is -- clearly not trying very hard. If the school board ever finds out who that person is then it can be determined if that person was following some school board policy or is merely an idiot.


Rise of the Machines. Call out the Terminator - Computers are taking over. Today it small children's' lunches - tomorrow Nuclear Missiles will be flying unless Matthew Broderick can convince the machine the "only way to win is not to play the game" or in this case "not to serve the lunches."

Apparently some of our Human Counterparts have sided with the computers and have become minions of the machines. Compelled by words on the screen they snatch food from little children and obey without regard.

The End is Near..... Someone call Neo.

(Please see The Terminator, The Matrix and War Games if this post makes no sense)

On the other hand
Riverdale, MD

Taking away a child's lunch is cruel and traumatizing. Whichever adult or adults decided on that course of action should apologize personally and individually to each affected student. And surely the school district can provide some kind of training to their decision makers. It should at least hit on at least the following two points:

1. Policies designed to humiliate have no place in the school system.
2. If you need something from parents, you reach out to those parents.

They could serve lunch at the training. Say, a pint of milk and a piece of fruit.

Joe Schmoe
Orem, UT

Pay your bills. End of problem.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Not only should the District employee who humiliated those students be fired, but the District employee(s) who are now trying to blame a computer program for causing the problem should be fired. It was an adult who threw the lunches into the garbage, not a computer program. It was an adult who decided that elementary aged students should be ridiculed in front of their classmates.

The entire District office should be shut down until the people there realize that humiliating little children is not part of their job description.

Carl G
Chicago, IL

The "investigation" follows the pattern set by... ummmm, certain National "leaders" -- blame someone else / couldn't have been my fault....

Salt Lake City, Utah

I understand that what happened was not good. But shouldn't the parents who did not pay their bill assume some responsibility regardless of whether there was a computer glitch that didn't send them a notice? I check my students account balance regularly as a parent and if gets under $10.00 I put more money in. Our current society has basically allowed parents to give any responsibilities associated with raising children to someone else, specifically the school system. Again, not defending they way this was handled, but if parents had been responsible and paid their bills, it would not have happened.

W Jordan, UT

Why is it that you people don't understand the Utah school system?
This is the way it has been for decades and it's called holding people accountable!!
Stop acting as if you want free lunches or a taxpayer handout in exchange for your kids having been "humiliated" due to a computer malfunction.
The problem has been found and it will be solved so let's we move on and stop the witch hunt.
You don't pay for your kids lunches there will be consequences so stop pressing that you want a free ride for a computer error.
The system should continue to be as it's now, "you don't pay yuour kids gets a salad or a PBJ and milk" end of story.

Layton, UT

Although kidly humiliation was clearly wrong, I do sympathize with schools regarding these programs...

I have a problem with the whole idea of a "right" to a school lunch, if you don't pay. I actually have a child who is sent to school with a nutritious lunch from home. When that child arrives at school the lunch mysteriously does not. Then I get an email from the school stating that I owe the school X amount of money because my child didn't have a lunch and begged for one in the cafeteria, because there was something better to be had.

I'm frustrated with the system because it seems to me that my child SHOULD go hungry. I don't think missing a lunch for a day is going to cause any serious health problems, at least not for my kid... especially if they threw their food away to eat school lunch.

I think schools should be required to contact parents before charging money to the kids.

Iowa City, IA

It is laughable to hear the school district blaming a computer for ripping food away from kids and throwing it in the trash. District officials need to be investigated. If they are are offering up this excuse they are hiding other things too.


A couple of things about computers, Kelly:

They are really stupid. They reach results based on the information they are provided by people. Ergo, it is not the computer's fault.

Computes also do not have arms and legs. They do not force lunch ladies to children's lunches. They provide information; people then make decisions based on that information. It is not the computer's fault.

You did this, Kelly. It's time to stand up and be honest.

Pat Young

yellow journalism......you got your attention therapy by creating a half truth into a whole repulsive experience. Two bad practices do not make a right experience.

Brigham City, UT

Um, McMurphy: You really think Warrior was serious? I think there was a healthy dose of sarcasm going on...

Article: "District officials have said they are still investigating whether taking lunches away was proper protocol in this situation." ... Are you kidding me?

Ogden, UT

A glitch? Why don't they say "if you like your school lunch, you can keep it" while they are at it?

Idaho Falls, ID

Why not put the cashier at the FRONT of the line, so that if they are going to deny a lunch, they don't have to throw the food away? Another question is, if they didn't allow the child to eat the food because he hadn't paid for it, how does throwing it in the trash pay for the food?

Stansbury Park, Ut

I'm still concerned about who has been sent home and who is still fully employed. The last I saw, the $17/hour Food Service Manager and the $9/hour cafeteria worker have been sent home pending termination. The $144,211. District Nutrition Operations Service Director who stood by and told the lower level employees what to do is still employed and is still making excuses for the District's actions. If this isn't corrected, I sincerely hope that Salt Lake City residents will take action to ensure that it never happens again. The excuses being offered are lame. It seems to me that a bully from District came to the local school and browbeat employees into doing something that was fundamentally wrong, something that made the local employees cry while they were doing it. I'm sure the District Director told the local school employees that what they were doing was "good for the students." I don't want this to become another case where privilege and wealth protects the person most responsible for an evil act. So far between the excuses and the coverups it looks like that is what is happening.

Reuben D.
Kaysville, UT

I think I did hear an apology in the article from Kelly Orton. This happened to me a couple of years ago in another school district. I had made a payment but it did not show up on the school computer. However, taking lunches from children is still ridiculous.

Ohio Reader
Columbus, OH

In my opinion, its a great chance to teach about making mistakes and asking for forgiveness! Yes, bring in the 600 cupcakes. Teach the children that we all make mistakes and that is part of life. Don't let a feeling of victimization permeate the school. Say your sorry and then move on.
And yes, parents, its your job to make sure your kid has lunch. If you don't know they don't have any money, then you aren't paying enough attention! Please get involved in your child's education and life. Say you are sorry, and make a change. We all slip sometimes, its OK. Just promise you'll do better next time.

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