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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Greenshadow
PLEASANT GROVE, UT

If they were so concerned about saving the money the parents supposedly hadn't paid, why did they throw the lunches in the trash? They could have let the kids eat and billed the parents later, but throwing food away was just plain wasteful, especially when we are always hearing about how financially strapped school districts are. This was a bureaucratic absurdity.

ulvegaard
Medical Lake, Washington

As has been suggested by others and should have been expected, when it all comes out in the wash, some faceless entity was ultimately responsible.

In my way of thinking, no one's job description should ever include humiliating someone, tearing food from their hands, cutting up a credit card in front of dozens of onlookers, etc. People need to have the fortitude to stand up and say, 'this isn't right'. Its not enough to say, 'I was just following orders'.

I hope they get that pesky computer glitch fixed and I hope that people will get the notion that it is not okay to publicly humiliate someone. There has to be a better way.

BU52
Provo, ut

That's America, no one to blame for anything and no consequences. USA USA

Linus
Bountiful, UT

The philosophy driving public education these days is that our children really belong to society at large; not to their parents. So, if the federal government is going to dictate the direction of our children's education independent from parental oversight, then maybe the government schools should feed the bodies of our children independent from parental responsibility. No, I'm not seriously promoting entitlement to free lunch; I'm in favor of parental involvement and responsibility for all phases of our children's education.

I say that parents should have the right to review and provide oversight of public school curriculum, materials, testing, data-mining confidential family information, and school-lunch menus aimed at our children's minds, values, egos, self-esteem, and bodies.

Incidentally, we have been invited annually to join our children for school lunch. In our opinion, these "mostly cold lunches" are neither nourishing nor appetizing. What have we come to? I remember "hot lunch" (what we called school lunch) from my childhood as being a well-balanced, delicious, freshly cooked meal. The lunch ladies took pride in what they prepared. Not so these days. Michelle has had her way!

BusStopRatBag
Layton, UT

"There's no way to undo the humiliation that the kids are feeling."

"Taking away a child's lunch is cruel and traumatizing."

"...ripping food away from kids"

"...the District employee who humiliated those students be fired"

"No, the parents should not assume responsibility for having their kids harassed. We live in a civil society, If you owe me money I dont' go intimidate your kids; that is what a mobster would do. I send a bill or handle like a civil person."

"...include humiliating someone, tearing food from their hands, cutting up a credit card in front of dozens of onlookers, etc."

A slightly regrettable issue, easily fixed, that has been elevated to a melodrama of epic proportions. The quotes above are tame compared to some I've read on other stories and, as we all know, death threats have been made over this.

As for the humiliated kids, I should think the vast majority of them were over it by second recess. In their innocence they just "get" that this is a first world problem.

OlderGreg
USA, CA

I pay my bills when I get them. I know what they look like.

If a biller changes style -- telling me by way of some obscure communication (bulk mail? website terms-of-use that I never visit? microprint "notice" in a pile of stuff a child is supposed to take home?) that I must opt-in to receive bills -- there *will* be a problem.

Instereo
Eureka, UT

It's bad enough that children had their lunches taken away because of a computer glitch but what about the employees that were put on leave? The apology would be great to give to the students but the employees need it as well and also they need to make sure there is no write up in their files.

JimLynch
King George, VA

I agree with the other commentators. What brain-dead mindset would suggest that we let kids go through the line, and then we jerk their lunch trays out of their hands and trash them. This IS NOT A COMPUTER PROBLEM. This is an administrative foul-up that places the interests and feelings of the children far down at the bottom of the list. Everyone involved should be fired.

Sophie 62
spring city, UT

Several times during the weeks' course of this sorry tale, the school has admitted that children whose parents HAD paid for lunch still had their lunches taken away.
Children are not responsible for their parents not paying. Yet people have been saying outright that the children are supposed to learn something something from this incident about being responsible for their parents' actions. Like these actions were justified.
No.
It's about a computer problem that led certain people to make a decision to take away about 40 children's lunches. Not just denying them lunch, which would have been bad enough, but dishing up those lunches, then snatching them away and throwing them in the trash, in front of their friends and other children who may not be their friends.
"We were just following orders." Does that have a familiar ring?
It was thoughtless and wasteful to say the least, mean-spirited, short-sighted, and unkind.
Perhaps this was the only meal of the day that some of these kids might have had.
Life is tough enough for a lot of kids, without adults in authority making it worse, without humiliating children in front of their friends.

BYR
West Bountiful, UT

What about the suspended employees? Do they get an apology?

worf
Mcallen, TX

Is our national debt a glitch?
Is keeping our insurance plans a glitch?
Are the taxes we pay a glitch?

Wow! I could go on for ever!

Homeron
Morgan, UT

Great news they figured it out...... The computers took the food from the studants a threw it away ! Child Nutrition Department director Kelly Orton makes $56.30 an hour and $144,211.00 a year in wages why should he be concerned a child did not get lunch ! Perhaps a a donation of his overpay should be given to the school to make us for this error

ErinR
Salt Lake City, UT

Trying to shift the blame to their computer system is just ridiculous. We've been using the same payment system all school year, and get notified when our account balance goes below $10, but we registered on the new system at the beginning of the year. When we registered we set preferences for receiving notification about our son's meal account. We're not seeing any "system glitches" - the "system glitch" seems to be the school district not letting all the parents know they need to sign up online.

Smells like a red herring to me. "It wasn't me officer, it was the one armed man!"

They didn't tell me when I signed up for the payment system that if I didn't keep my child's account up to date the computer also had the capability to pick up my son's lunch in front of his classmates, throw it in the trash, then hand him an apple and a milk to get through the rest of the school day on.

Quite a system!

dan76
san antonio, TX

Joe Schmoe
Orem, UT
Pay your bills. End of problem.

Apparently you did not read how the district failed to provide sufficient time for parents to add funds to their student's account.

Do you pay your utility bills prior to receiving the statement?

Lindsay
Payson, UT

In Nebo school district you give you're number to the worker before you get your lunch. And we start getting emails about lunch funds being low when it hits $11.50, with an email every day until you pay it. The worker stamps the kids lunch with a smiley stamp when their account hits $7, not sure what happens when they hit zero because I always pay for the lunch. I just wait till my kid gets a stamp because they think its cool to have a hand stamp. I do know they have lunches that they give for free to the kids who had their funds run out.

My dad works in food services and he said one time one of the district people noticed a girl hovering near the trash can and when someone dumped in food she would grab it out and eat it. So the guy goes to the lunch lady, hands her $50 and said to put it on that girls account, and when it gets low you call me and I'll get more money.

ander05
Birmingham, AL

This is the schools fault and they must take the blame for it. They need to apologize to the students who were not given food and to their parents. They need to take full responsibility for it.

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