Parents upset after school takes lunches from students with account deficits



    What happened to honour,dignity,respect and accountability? Are they lost? As a parent my childs lunch money is figured in my budget, I pay for two weeks worth out of each check,rocket science ? not really ! I am a single working parent and understand toughness very well,but I have always taken care of my children,I work hard and budget very closely.Kudos to Uintah for giving them fruit and milk other schools give you nothing,you should be grateful! Who ends up paying for your childs fruit and milk? More of other peoples money? The thing that bothers me most is the lessons these parents are teaching their children. You are teaching your children that if you don’t pay a bill it is someone else’s fault,so throw a tantrum and act dissrepectful.Is that the same way they will act as adults when they don’t pay their mortgage? Why do you people feel it is the government and schools responsibility to provide for you and children? As for throwing the food away….that is law for commense sense sanitary reasons!!!

  • e-Angels

    Open message to Uintah Elementary School … Before you take a single child’s lunch away due to non-payment, PLEASE send a Facebook message to e-Angels. WE WILL IMMEDIATELY SEND YOU PAYMENT FOR THAT CHILD’S LUNCH.


      Good for you e-Angles. If there were more people like you, I wouldn’t have to put so much effort into my outstanding lunch accounts. Hope you have that extra $100.00 a day that I front for unpaid lunches.

  • Decent

    If a parent is on food stamps with a child that attends school then feed the kids twice a day lunch and dinner and reduce the parents food stamps accordingly. Allow the parents to pay with snap assistance so at least the kids eat and the snap benefits are actually used for the kids. Seriously society could do much better than taking food from a kid. The employees should have had enough compassion to refuse to take food already given away from a child. If this were my child involved id be pretty upset too. Fortunately i was raised by a single mom who would have starved to death just to feed her babies. Love you mom wish more in the world were like ya.

  • JohnCam

    On the other hand.. it’s teaching the children a good money lesson. You must honor your contract and pay your bills. I don’t think that’s such a bad thing. These kids were from middle class families and weren’t going to starve to death over one missed lunch.

    • Ms.R. West

      It was not made known whether the children in question had a medical condition that required a regularly scheduled meal. They’re not going to have a sign around their neck saying feed me I have a medical condition. To say that child or children missing one meal won’t kill them, who are you to be the judge of that? This is a communication problem between the parents & school. The children should not have been penalized.

  • Mandie

    You can place blame on both the school and the parent. The parent should be providing for THEIR child but in turn the school is responsible to feed the child. Parents need to take responsibility for their own children, obviously you know they eat and haven’t paid anything for it.

  • Pam Taylor

    There are times that my son’s school has forgotten to tell me about my sons lunch money being out, but they still gave him at least a cheese, or PB&J sandwich and a milk. No one ever took a perfectly good lunch away from my son though, someone clearly wasn’t thinking.

  • Chawn

    Whomever made this ridiculous “rule” should be FIRED! For a child to go hungry AND be humiliated and probably be bullied from now on. What were you INHUMANE people thinking???

  • Brandon D.

    I think the story if blown way out of proportion. Lunches taken away? It’s not like the kids sat down at the table with their lunch after thinking they were all set and then staff came and took it away. Now I agree that the owness of notifying the parents should not be left soley up to elementary students, so as long as due notice was provided to the parents, and they failed or forgot to act, there’s no blame to the school in my opinion. When i was elementary school, a simple “I/My parents forgot to add money” was a simple statement to give fellow students to save from embarrassment as I ate a healthy fruit and milk lunch. It was something when I forgot to bring my lunch to school with me. Bottom line, if the school told the parents in advance, I don’t think they did anything wrong, especially since they were still provided fruit and milk.

  • CallMeDiane (@DianeM1966)

    Considering Utah is known for food storage and preparedness, I am shocked at the whining and crying over this! Where is the responsibility on the parents sending their kids to school with lunches from home?

    When I was a kid, I lived in a very small district in Central New York. The elementary school my siblings and I attended did not provide lunches. They did sell the small cartons of milk (regular, low-fat and chocolate) for about $.15 each to those who wanted to buy it. Parents sent their kids to school with their lunches made at home. I often took soup in a thermos that stayed hot for several hours. I also brought milk from home because my family was very frugal with the budget.

    Maybe it’s time the parents in this Utah district get back to these basic principles and stop expecting the schools to provide lunches. It would save the district a whole lot of money.

  • Amber

    Let’s think for a minute……we teach our children to always be kind to others, have good manners, and respect everyone.
    Then, they go to school and have every teaching that we have bestowed on them taken away and on top of that they are humiliated in front of their peers. The “adults” that are on PAID administrative leave should not be PAID. That is ridiculous to give them a paid vacation!! I would be looking into a discrimination law suit if that were my child.

  • Elaine

    when my son was in elementary school we had a similar situation. My son had gone up got his lunch and he was paying in front of the whole cafeteria they took his lunch threw it in the garbage and said he had a delinquent account handed him a cheese sandwich which consisted of only two of two pieces of bread in a slice of cheese. This school was at fault for his delinquent account numerous times. This school hung all ofthe catson a wall, which was unmonitored. Another student would take the card and use it as their own which would cause his account to be delinquent my son did not use his card very often because he usually brought a lunch from home. When I address the school I had to prove what I had paid On the card, when he had eaten lunch at the school and brought it from home they had caused such an embarrassment to my son but he refused to eat food from the school again. They are not tactful or discreet about it. The school will charge you the same for the cheese sandwich as the regular lunch . I understand there will be some issues with some parents not paying the bill, but not every situation is due to the lack of funds from the parents. Something needs to be changed nation wide so this doesn’t keep occurring.

  • Tricia Yeo

    The way they handled it was wrong. I’m curious how many were reduced lunch kids, because this is a very affluent area. The parents should know that their kids lunch money is low. My daughter went to a school and we had to prepay lunch. I have a solution, pack your kids lunch. But I agree throwing away food was wrong!

  • Carol

    This also happens in Carbon County, They did the same thing to my niece at the school she was attending, She had her tray of food and a lunch lady rudely walked up to her and told her she could not have it and took it and dumped into trash. Its disgusting that someone could be so HEARTLESS and feel good about themselves taking food from a hungry person especially a child! Also think its horrible for anyone to throw food away with all the hungry children and people out in the world going without! ALL SCHOOLS NEED TO BE INVESTIGATED ON THIS ISSUE!

  • Marianne

    How cruel! This made a guy in Texas pay the delinquent accounts of the students in a school near him. Come on–there are plenty of wealthy people in Salt Lake. Help these kids!

    • Terry

      Generally, accounts with a deficit are those belonging to parents who are able to pay, but tend to procrastinate. Ironically, NSLP/SBP/SMP/ASSP/SFSP/FFVP/SSO program participants generally do not have account deficits because they have submitted an application for assistance, and having been granted assistance in the form of free or reduced price meals for the student, the program keeps their balance current.

      It’s still a bad setup to deal with the deficit at the end of the line rather than the beginning, since it only permits them to perform additional account debiting for things like two milks and other optional purchase items as a revenue center (this is a feature of the software that the school uses, which is sold as a benefit to the school).

      Given that the school isn’t a Title 1 school, some of the programs aren’t applicable.

  • Barbara Ryan

    I agree that if you leave a restaurant without paying there should be consequences…however that’s NOT what we are talking about here. We are talking about taking food away from a child and THROWING that food into the garbage. It should never have been a policy and should not be a policy now. Yes those who are serving/cooking should speak up and if in the same shoes, I too would pay for the child’s food before letting it be thrown in the garbage. Policy or no policy. This is wrong from all ends and must be rectified NOW. Every adult has a moral responsibility to the children in our community.

  • Susan Harms

    pam you have done this to children i suppose you acted like they were stealing from your pockets too, you a a perfect example of who we do not want near our children ever. And this school district needs to get a tight grip because after the next election and we show those who have cut funds for our schools and medical for children while giving billions to bankers who are totally corrupt those who let big corps buy their vote and did not represent the people who sent them there we are coming after those high paid administrators whio treated our children badly who did not care if anyone learned but knew how to cowtow to the politicans and big government you will all be fired we the people are waking up and you better be watching your jobs are not secure we want loving caring educators and we will not be shut down for cold hearted child haters like you. I bet you get a hefty salery for not caring about humiliting and hurting our children, a bunch more than our teachers who often spend thier own money so all kid shave supplies and food, we the people need to get back to our basic roots and stop the insanity being done to our children and the teachers who work for such low wages simply because the love to teach and spend time with our kids. high paid administrative jobs need to go it is just like big government they don’t care at all about anything but the bottom line i want anyone involved with this senseless act of bullying to be fired and charges with child endangerment
    if a parent took meals away they would be found unfit .

  • CactusJack

    So I assume you are saying the school is the BULLY (employees or district).

    If this is the case then who turns in the CHILD ABUSERS (meaning the unaccountable parents who run a deficit after repeated notices still don’t provide for their kids by paying the lunch bill).

  • Nina

    In this case it is the school being the bully. 98% of the time, when someone thinks of a bully they think of this big mean looking kid stealing kids lunch money and embarrassing them. This is exactly what the school did and I pray to god one of those kids has a lawyer or cop for a parent.

  • CactusJack


    A cop for what… to shoot someone or arrest someone?

    A lawyer to sue… sue for what? If a lawyer took this case I should hire the same lawyer to sue all the parents that are not paying their bills and wasting tax payer money and taking away precious teaching time for my child.

  • Susan Harms

    deb we need to get together and hold those high paid administrators totally responsible for thier actions these people should be fired and charged with child endangerment

  • CactusJack

    Deb, please get with Susan Harms and find the accountable ones. Besides the folks from the school district, please find all the parents who owed money and put their kids into this terrible situation as those parents need to be turned in DCFS for neglecting their children and not providing for them.

  • Lolaoutloud

    I think is a gross overstep to call parents dead beats or abusers. Lunch accounts are easily overlooked without proper checks and balances. The article stated many parents were unaware their account was at zero. It happens, and when it does, parents usually pay. If a parent can’t afford to pay, their are free lunch programs, and thank God for them! A school is sometimes the only good meal a child can get. Poverty is real and it doesn’t mean a parent is bad because they struggle.

  • michelle drye

    Maybe the parents forgot to give lunch money? Maybe they had more than one child to account for. Not ALL the parents are dead beats! Geez

  • Leilani Jones

    and worse, what a waste of the food that could have nourished the child regardless. Very Nazi like policy. Shameful and disgusting behavior to humiliate the child and waste the food.

  • LcG

    I agree that taking the food away from children is terrible and wrong. The school’s policy should be changed at once. Your use of the word Nazi, however, is inflammatory, inaccurate, and offensive. Throwing a kid’s chocolate milk away should never be compared with the murder of 10 million people. You cheapen your argument when you utilize such tactics.

  • Backtalker

    If the parents have funds to pay, then they should pay. But the waste of food already paid for by the system is wrong. To take a childs lunch from them, pointing them out and making examples out of them, is wrong. The school should take it up with the parents not the children.

  • Uintah PRent

    And maybe the parents (Erica Lukes) should have taken up the issue wit the principal and school district versus calling every media outlet on the planet.

    Both the parents and school are using the kids as a pawn in this issue.

  • Vicki Tuttle

    I do not believe that taking away the children’s lunch is the proper way to handle this! Wasting food is always a bad idea. Working in a school, however, I hear so many excuses from parents! “I forgot”…we tell them for 6 school days that they need to pay. Then their child gets fruit and milk, and a sandwich for 4 school days while we are calling, sending home letters, and emailing the parents. We have an online payment for the parents. They need to learn that you must honor your debts and pay your bills! School lunches are just like any other bill!!

  • Sarah

    I work in a school cafeteria in TN, and would have never went and took a lunch from a kid. I’m lucky to have kind manager that even when a kid owes a balance and wants to eat, typically she or one of us employees will cover it, or we will give them a courtesy meal. However, we are told if they owe more than one meals worth to not allow them to charge again. I also see day after day all the food we are forced to throw in the trash at the end of the day bc we aren’t allowed to take it to homeless shelters or allow kids who have nothing take it home. Today alone we threw away 10lbs of spaghetti, and we all just shake out heads. I have asked if I could take the leftovers each day to a local food bank and have been told that bc it’s government funded we are required to throw it away. It’s sad that our government would rather fill the landfills than the stomachs of its citizens. If restaurants, schools, and grocery stores gave food to food banks I truly believe it would solve a lot of our hunger problems.
    It’s going to take people shedding light on just how much our school systems throw away to make a change.

  • David E. Johnson



    Barbara, I so agree. Please back up those comments with a donation to your child’s ” I don’t need to pay, so you do it lunch fund” Make that weekly ,I’ll let you off light $50.00 a month, $450.00 a year, $4,635.00 for thirteen years.Gee, that’s just one child! Shouldn’t parents be responsible for their own children?


    Michelle, I really liked you comment, there is so much innocence. Not everyone forgets to pay I speak from experience. I can overlook $2.00, $10.00, ( five days of food ) but getting close to $20.00 ( ten days ) and multiply that by 30 student (10% of my enrollement ), you can have a big collection problem. i just want to know where the parents involvement comes in here?

  • Guy

    E. Stewart it is your responsibility to pay for your child’s lunch it is your fault and yours alone. you are the reason your child had to endure the embarrassment at school do your job and then you can criticize the school if they make a mistake

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