Children humiliated when school leaders take lunches, throw them away
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Salt Lake City school officials apologized and vowed to better communicate with parents after dozens of students whose school lunch accounts had zero or negative balances had their lunches taken from them, only to be tossed out in the garbage.
According to FOX 13, the school says it had notified parents in a phone call or email on Monday that their children’s balances were in the deficit and that they would only be served fruit and milk if money was not added to the account.
However, some parents said they never received the notification. Students go through the food line prior to paying for the food, so the lunches they had gotten while in line were taken from them and thrown away, replaced by the promised fruit and milk.
Jason Olsen, Communication Director for Salt Lake City School District issued a statement that was part explanation and part apology.
“This situation could have and should have been handled in a different manner. We apologize. We are also investigating what type of notification parents may or may not have received prior to this week. The schools say they inform students when they go through the lunch line if they have a low balance. They say they also send notes home in the student’s Monday folders. However, when contacted Monday or Tuesday, many parents were surprised by the news. The district has specific guidelines for school kitchen managers on how parents should be notified, and we are currently investigating to see if these guidelines were followed correctly.
We understand the feelings of upset parents and students who say this was an embarrassing and humiliating situation. We again apologize and commit to working with parents in rectifying this situation and to ensuring students are never treated in this manner again.”
CLICK HERE to see FOX 13’s report that includes a mother upset that the school was hung-up on a $2.00 lunch.