So what exactly is the difference between "paid leave" and some vacation
time? Sounds absolutely dreadful doesn't it? Being put on "paid
leave. Sounds like a day off with pay to me.
This is typical of bureaucracies everywhere; but especially in the litigiously
oriented U.S. -- where everybody sues everybody else at the drop of a hat.
Otherwise good and intelligent people become monsters because they are afraid
they will get in trouble if they don't -- and in this case, they get in
trouble anyway because the bureaucracy they thought they were serving desserts
them. There needs to be less government as noted above; but where you must have
it anyway, there must be "wiggle room" to allow people to exercise
judgment.Compare this to a policy interpretation in Afghanistan that
got people killed -- no fire support delivered because if we accidentally kill
an "innocent" (however defined) we lose hearts and minds. Consequently,
U.S. troops died. Same dynamic. Even in simple authority structures, we have
to figure out how to let common sense prevail.
Some parents are irresponsible, period. The schools and the social service
agencies see them daily. In 1990, my daughter worked at a Boys & Girls Club
and had parents who were furious when the Club closed for holidays --the parents
were used to the club being a reliable six-day a week babysitter and meal
provider (the dues--don't laugh--for unlimited use of the club facilities,
including one meal per day, were $7 a year). But punishing the kids does not
make the parent responsible--never has and never will. Is it not our
responsibility as a society to care about all children, whether their parents
make the grade or not?
1. True, most of Michelle Obama's "healthy" school Lunches are
barely palatable. A child who is truly hungry will eat whatever they can
get.2. If a child's parent is having a hard time paying for school
lunch, chances are, they don't have much food at home either. In that
case, it was criminal to throw that food away in front of a hungry child. The
dairy and citrus fruit given will probably cause an upset stomach. Milk and a
PB&J would have been more substantial and humane.3. These were
elementary school kids who have no control over the family financial situation,
they are merely observers to whatever their parents can or victims to what their
parents can't provide. 4. If we're talking about "teaching
entitled kids", let's save this lesson for the High Schoolers, who
could get a part time job to buy their own lunch.5. The message those kids
will take from this is "You are of no value. You are not even worth the
garbage in this can." Kids this age will spend the afternoon in tears,
focused on their empty stomach rather than learning anything.
I doubt that it's a federal law to throw away a child's lunch which
workers have already dished up because there isn't a positive balance in
the child's account. It appears that some lunches were thrown away which
were paid for. What happened at this school was not about the federal
government. It was about adults being wasteful, and shaming students who have no
control over a transaction between adults.Humiliating children for their
parents' actions or lack of action accomplished nothing.Isn't it
bad enough that children do this sort of thing to each other, without adults
adding to their difficulties?As for teaching children that not being able
to pay your bills is painful, if those children are aware of family bills not
being paid, believe me, they are already in distress and anxiety because of
it.They don't need to be humiliated in school in front of their
friends and sometime enemies for something they have no control over.
The Constitution does not give the Federal government the power to do or say
anything about school lunches, so anything they do or say is unconstitutional.
Perhaps many options had been tried and yet people felt entitled to eat without
i was taught at an early age that wasting food is unacceptable. There were
several choices to be made here. The worst one was made.
"I was hungry, and you told me my lunch account was not paid up. I was
thirsty, and you told me that I was lazy and needed to learn a lesson..."
The Superintendent is sitting behind a desk looking at numbers on a paper.
Numbers count kids do not. This is what happens when numbers are all that matter
wether it is in reading or lunch. How else can you explain taking away lunches
or taking away the classes that kids enjoy and posting test scores outside
classroom doors these all stem from the same problem. Kids are numbers and no
Great example of government bureaucratic actions and bad judgment. And people
think there should be MORE government programs?
I do worry that some poor soul is going to take the unfair blame for this. The school should just feed every child who asks for food. It's a
few percent of the school's budget. Fruit and milk cost something. Or milk
and a sandwich. Whatever they give to the kid without money. This is what the
Pope spoke about. We are treating people unevenly and wasting food. This is a
perfect example on how wasting food is harming people and sinful. Some parents
will send from home due to picky eating. There will always be parents who pay. A
number of students are subsidized. What is next, requiring them to bring toilet
paper from home? Just providing lunch is cheaper than busing the kids home for
lunch and back and extending the school day so they can eat at home.
Oh yeah - and why do all the craziest stories always come from Utah - like this
never happens in Nebraska?
A lot of dumb things happened.Parents forgot/did not pay their
bills.District Officials over reacted.Lunch Ladies threw away food.
(that must have been a sight)The media picked a side and went crazy with
blame.Kids ate "Fruit" and "Milk" (Instead of Korean War
Surplus Fish Sticks)and no one takes responsibility.I
would be shocked if just one parent came forward and said "hey look -
it's my job to feed my kid and I missed the payment - my bad" Instead some unappreciated lunch lady and her supervisor will have to
"eat" this one with a formal apology - when the truth probably is they
were told to do it by someone who figured he/she was going to draw a line in the
sand a "stop the madness" - The thinking being - if the Congress
won't stand up to Barry - then I am going to stand up to these freeloading
kids.Sadly - no one will learn any of the lessons that should be
learned. Although I did make sure that all my kids accounts are up to date -
even though I'm sure now I have license to never pay again thanks to this
So how are we going to teach children cause and effect is the question??We
now live in a society that teaches young people they're entitled to
everything.As well as they should never be embarrased or ashame of being
lazy as the government or those who have more than you should provide for
you.If this was a clerickal error fix it.However this system has
been in Utha schools for decades, it teaches responsibility to parents and
kids.If the child has no money in his or her account give them the
esentials a PBJ sanwich and milk and inform the paerents they need to get their
behinds into the school and pay their kids meals.This is Utah! not
CA, IL, NY, OR, WA or any blue state where they encourage dependability.. Here
we teach resposibility and accountability.
We should expect more and more incidents like this, as control of all aspects of
our neighborhood schools is surrendered to more and more distant, more and more
Having lived in Utah and understanding their double standards and greed, I am
not at all surprised.
The workers will hopefully sue the district and legislaors for violating their
rights for obeying the laws, and rules are rules for a reason. How should a
worker know if the parents don't want their children eating this food or
has a stolen food ticket? I refused to let my children eat the garbage the
schools have, sack lunches were more nourishing.As far as I'm
concerned by the quality and edibility of these school lunches it should never
be allowed in the schools. This food is all made out of state and preserved for
shipment to Utah schools for consumption of grossly inadequately prepared foods.
Even the raw vegetables taste like chemicals and who knows what the rest of the
food is made from. This program should be abolished, its a
contractors billion dollar dream contract, no accountability or competition for
what they serve. Homeless or not, parents get food stamps and WIC money to feed
them, hunger is a lie. The food in the program is stripped of nourishment and
stomach filler is not nourishment. God help any child who is forced
to be dependent on schools for food, the employees did them a favor.
I don't know why everyone is so upset. The children still were given food
to eat. If they wanted to eat lunch than they should have to pay for lunch. That
is how the world works, You don't hear me complaining at McDonalds for not
getting food I didn't pay for. If you didn't pay for it you don't
get it, its that simple.
Put those employees back to work...and fire the district person that was there
directing the stupidity! I'm appalled! I encourage everyone
that is angry to call the district, and get those employees back to work, and
demand the district take responsibility for the actions, and the policy!!Do we live in the dark ages? My daughter called me from school and said
she couldn't eat, because her account was empty. We've been in this
school for 5 years!!! Have we EVER not paid her lunches?? NO. Have we EVER
been a problem with paying? No.Alpine School District. They
don't get off either...they are getting a call now!
Would it be so difficult to put the cashier at the beginning of the line, before
the kids receive their food. That way they would have been aware that the
students were out of money before they were given their trays. My children have
to put their lunch # in the system before they receive their lunch. They also
receive a note on Friday if they do not have enough money to cover lunches for
the next week, even though I receive emails from PayPams when my child's
account is low. Also, if I had a child in Salt Lake school
district, I'm not sure I would use their online pay system since it charges
an additional 4.5% to use. Although it is free to check balances. If these
children's parents had registered with "MyPaymentPlus" they would
have received an email when their children's balance became low. Maybe the
system was not working properly.
This is what happens when Federal Government thinking works its way into our
local affairs. I was taught that in Capitalism, if you have two cows you sell
one and buy a bull, but in socialism you simply milk the cows and pour the milk
down the drain. And there you go, that's where we're at - pouring the
milk down the drain. Brilliant.
Probably the most important lesson the kids will learn in school and one they
should remember. If you get behind in your payments it doesn't feel good.
@BU52, I totally disagree. The children should NEVER be humiliated, publicly or
privately, for such a thing, especially when it really is the parents'
responsibility to have the account paid. Humiliate the children to motivate the
parents? I think not. And here, we are trying to eliminate bullying, but yet the
adults are doing just that.School district--and government,
really--mentality is maddening. They threw away food because the accounts were
not paid up. Makes no sense whatsoever. If the food was going to be thrown away,
anyway, why not just let them eat it? Stupid waste, not only of food, but of
intellect and common sense.
This is sad for the students. This is sad for the employees that were trying to
enforce a policy they didn't write. This is sad because it shows the
divisions in our society played out in a child's lunch. Granted it would be
nice to have parents pay for a child's lunch but in Europe, particularly in
Finland and the rest of Scandinavia, lunch and even breakfast is part of the
funding of schools. If we truly valued education and our children maybe we
should change our policies and funding so that we didn't even have to worry
about a child not having lunch at school.
If the meal is marked as sold then the district gets its Federal government
allotment for the lunch. But humiliating the child by throwing away the lunch
would certainly embarrass the parents into paying their bills
As stated in earlier comment...This entire problem is about the lack of RESPECT
given! It starts at the district level, and funnels down from there! Obviously
the lunchroom manager was feeling immense pressure to get the money in the kids
account, and she reacted every bit as poorly as her district administrator!
Fireing is NOT the answer here! Giving respect to ALL (above and beneath job
statis) would solve this entire problem! Your politicians are just out to look
as if they care, when in reality, this has NOTHING to do with politics! It has
EVERYTHING to do with a poor working enviroment! Go in and teach the adults how
to be nice, and these kinds of problems, and acts of stupidity will go away!
This whole lunch thing makes me very angry. I work in a school and I see how
much food gets thrown away after the lunch has been served. Every day we throw
away 3 to 4 trash cans full of food that was not served to the students because
of Federal Law. At my school we have many students that are in homeless
situations and the only meal they get is what is served at school. We also have
many students that are hungry even after they have finished eating their lunch.
Instead of throwing the food away, why aren't we allowing these students to
go back for seconds, with out paying for it since the food will be thrown away
anyway or allow the students that have run out of money in their accounts to
eat. Make them wait until every student that is paying for their lunch get
theirs then allow those who ran out of money to have lunch. All the kids will at
least get something to eat and the food won't be wasted. Students should
never go hungry just because their parents forgot to put money in their
I am so very angry about this, and now the situation is even worse. Two
employees, probably being browbeat by a district employee do what they are told
to do, and will be punished. Yes, I agree that they should have told the
district employee that they wouldn't do it, but they might have been afraid
they would lose their jobs. This whole thing stinks to high heaven and the
person directly responsible for it will probably skate. This is wrong. I
didn't think this situation could possibly get worse but the school
district proved yet again that nothing is impossible.
I cannot believe they would rather throw the food away than let the children eat
it. There are no words.