Recently in Utah, a group of up to 40 students at Uintah Elementary in Salt Lake City had their school lunches taken away. They were apparently taken away from elementary school students because of negative account balances or unpaid lunch bills. Not only were their school lunches taken, they reportedly were thrown in the trash. These students got into the lunch line and when they got to the end of the line, if their account showed up uncleared, their lunch was taken. Also, they received milk or some sort of fruit to eat to substitute as their meal.
Lukes’ daughter, fifth-grader Sophia Isom, told KSL-TV that a district employee took her lunch away and said, “Go get a milk.” Sophia recalled, “I came back and asked, ‘What’s going on?’ Then she handed me an orange. She said, ‘You don’t have any money in your account, so you can’t get lunch.’”
According to the Schools Facebook Post:
On Tuesday, the calls to parents continued. When lunch time came, students who still had negative balances were told they could not have a full meal but were given a piece of fruit and a milk for lunch. The district does this so children who don’t have money for lunch can at least have some food and not go without.
Unfortunately, children are served lunch before they get to the computer for payment. The children who didn’t have enough money in their accounts had their normal food trays taken from them and were given the fruit and milk.
This situation could have and should have been handled in a different manner. We apologize.
The school claimed to have let the parents know about their account balances but there were some parents who stated they were never notified. How could this have happened? To embarrass a child this way and punish them for mistakes that should have been cleared up by the parents/school system is unacceptable. Then to take food away from hungry children just to throw it away is even more devastating. How did they know that was not that child’s first meal of the day? Parents should have made sure their child’s lunches were payed for but again, this situation should have been handled differently. It was unfortunate circumstances for those innocent children. Read update statement via Facebook