2 on paid leave after Salt Lake City school takes lunches from elementary students

SALT LAKE CITY – Two employees at a Salt Lake City elementary school have been placed on paid administrative leave as officials investigate an incident during which several students with school lunch account deficits were given lunches only to have them taken away.

According to information from Jason Olsen, who is the communication director for the Salt Lake City School District, The cafeteria manager and her supervisor are on paid administrative leave.

Parents were upset after dozens of students at Uintah Elementary School were served lunch Tuesday only to have the meals later taken from them and thrown in the trash due to negative or zero balances in the students’ school lunch accounts. The students were provided with milk and fruit, and school district officials told FOX 13 News it was school policy for food to be put in the trash in such incidents.

School district officials apologized in a statement Wednesday. They said school officials had begun calling parents Monday and Tuesday to make them aware of the status of their accounts, but they said this came as a surprise to some parents.

Officials said  they are working to see if procedures for notifying parents about accounts were followed, and they said they will work with parents, employees and students to find better ways to deal with the issue of late or unpaid lunch fees.

Click here for more details about the incident and the response from parents and school officials.

 

18 comments

  • Lee Naylor

    So they embarrass kids, make them go without food, throw it into the garbage like that’s a better plan, and then they get a vacation?!?! Ya that’ll teach em.

  • Quad

    Paid?? Really?? at least they can pay for their food, they should have to give their pay to the kids they embarrassed!

  • Tracy

    Why paid leave. They are getting paid to do nothing but sit on their fat butts at home. They should be handed their walking papers. Without being able to get unemployment. They are the school bullies. Bullies are to be punished for their actions. Not reward them with paid leave. Why do the children go through the serving line then they check their lunch balance. What happened to no child left behind? I thought balanced meals are needed for proper learning. Is it our government just blowing more smoke up our _____???????

  • Choleric Eric

    This is the ideal conservative way. Why should we pay for people who can’t pay for themselves? This isn’t a socialist society, so why should we all pay for these people? If you can’t afford children, don’t have any.

    This is the way many conservatives approached the healthcare overhaul. Now we are stuck with what we got.

    Oh, about this story, like the people working in a school cafeteria are so much better off than the poor families who struggle to feed their kids. These people are pathetic.

    I know this will anger some, satire does that, it’s ok. People are entitled to their opinions.

    Sorry for being off-topic.

  • Morgan

    Just taking it from a different angle… What happened to the three notes the lunch lady sent home? Does the kid have any responsibility here? I can guarantee he /she knew they didn’t have any money. Why are they not asking their parents for more. I am in Slc district and our lunch ladies are awesome! I have had the embarrassing call that my kid has no money for lunch. Did he know? Yes? Does his desk have the three notices? Yes…. Sorry for the kids embarrassment. What responsibility did the kid take? Just saying….. My opinion

  • Jasmin

    With technology today why can’t they email the parents as well. A note does not guarantee it will make it to the parents. Either mail a letter home, make a phone call or sent an email. Sending a note with a child is old school. ..My opinion. At least u have proof with email that they tried to contact parents with email on file. Smh..

  • joanna

    how can these parents “forget” to feed their children? these are your children. why should a school dist even need to send a note, you know your children gets hungry, you know that it is your responsibility, why did the account ever run dry in the first place?

    • ShirlSumm (@ShirlSumm)

      I found out that my kids, they were young, were getting food at school breakfast. The little one was a con artist. THere was no reason for them to be eating at school. I paid the bill when the school called me but told the school not to allow them to eat in the cafeteria.
      I agree that it is a shame that good food was thrown away. It was a really bad call all the way around.

  • chris

    It is the schools responsibility to feed the kids because they are paid to do that. BUT if you don’t pay them, then they don’t have to feed your little crumb cruncher. Are you embarrassed? Boo hoo. Pay the fee. Its the parents fault and the kid suffers. the school is within their rights. The lunch lady need to be given a raise and the parents need to fix the problem not the school. IT IS THE PARENTS FAULT!!!

    • Mike

      How is it the parent’s fault when they were not notified that the balances were low? How can they be expected to replenish the account if they are not told of their balances? Come on now…

  • Trish Ramirez

    The parent’s are at fault but who takes food from a hungry child and throws it in the garbage over $2. This is the real issue. Do we want to live in a society where children are denied food over 2 bucks?? Is it more important to teach them a lesson or make sure they don’t go hungry??? Not a single adult there said “Hey, this is ridiculous, I’ll cover the lunches until arrangements can be made.” Not ONE. Ridiculous society we live in where a dollar is more important than a child.

  • Mike

    This is the way I see it. In a report from a different news site, some of the parents of these kids reported that they were unaware that their child’s lunch account balance is low. If they are not notified then how can they possibly be expected to put money in the account for their children to eat? What a crock that they get a PAID leave of absence when they should have been fired in my opinion.

  • JoDee

    I hope all of you self-rightous people never have a situation where your perfect lives don’t get upset. Do any of you know each childs situation. There are many unknowns here.

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