Meeting to address student lunches being taken, thrown away doesn’t satisfy some parents

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Angry parents showed up to a Salt Lake City School board meeting Wednesday night hoping to get more answers about why dozens of Uintah elementary students were denied lunch more than a month ago.

Many left the meeting feeling even more upset.

Things got heated when the school board members gave information from a prepared report rather than answering direct questions from angry parents. Some board members think the vocal parents who showed up Wednesday are in the minority and said everyone needs to just move on from the school lunch debacle.

"Right now we just want to say this is how decisions were made," said Kristi Sweet, who is a Salt Lake City School District board member.

What was advertised as a question and answer session with board members was actually board members reading from talking points given to them by the district's HR department. Parents came wanting to finding out why nearly 40 Uintah Elementary student's lunches were either taken away or thrown away because there wasn't money in their kids' accounts.

When it came time to answer questions from parents in the crowd, Sweet said, "To shout things from the audience, and we've gone ahead and allowed that to happen and I would just caution that we need to hear what the board members have to say and if we want to take questions then we will, so the motion right now is to adjourn."

Board Member Michael Clara would not allow the meeting to end, and that's when some Uintah Elementary mothers were finally allowed to speak up.

"I have a couple questions none of them were included in your list and am wondering what recourse I have," said parent Annie Payne.

At the end of the meeting, the parents who did show up left more frustrated than they came, saying they still don't know what happened.

"My main purpose here was to hear the answers the school board had for us, as always, I am a little frustrated because I’m not seeing any real answers,” parent Erica Lukes said. “It seems like they're running around and diverting the issue.”

Another issue parents raised: It's 40 days later, and the district hasn't started an external investigation yet into what happened at Uintah. No word on what happens next.

The school district put new policies into place following the incident, click here for details.

6 comments

    • Eric Anderson

      Try paying your bills, folks. The taxpayers don’t owe you a free ride.

      Remember, these aren’t kids who are eligible for free lunches. They’re kids whose parents simply feel ENTITLED to freebies at your expense, and who worked the system until the situation finally became intolerable.

      ZERO sympathy. None of those kids were in danger of starvation from going without lunch for one day.

      • Jaqueline

        What would you do with your life, if there wasn’t such a thing as a comments section, Anderson? There isn’t much you don’t have a backward opinion on, is there?

        Our taxpayer money went to lunches ALREADY served, then thrown away. You don’t give food to a child, then just take it away. What you DO do is make more aggressive attempts to contact parents and leave the kids outs of it.

  • Susan Harms

    i know these overpaid school administrators think they do not have to justify anything to the parents, but I firmly believe you will see a big change in how our local government is being run in the very near future, and they are not in a very secure place. Some of these people I take real exception to being any where near children.at least anywhere near my children. I have kept my mouth shut for a long time but they better be advised we the people of this country are like a giant we are waking up and we are very strong don’t think you will be working with our children very much longer. Not thumbing your noses at us either, I am very angry at the blatent disrespect shown to parents and wake up people the majority of parents are not on your side they just have not had any good leaders but we are here and we are talking you better listen

  • Andrew

    This isn’t the first time something like this has happened.. I’m 20 years old right now and back when I was in elementary school this would be a daily occourance for me.. I got singled out in the middle of class by my teacher if I didn’t have enough money in my account to pay for lunch.. I would either go without eating or I would be forced into doing lunch duty to get free lunch. – As a child that is one of the most embarrassing things to have to deal with. Especially because kids that age get a kick out of picking on their peers.

  • Seriously

    If you don’t want your kids in school by all means move them to the private sector. We’d all appreciate it. The parents do need to move on. They didn’t pay their bills. That’s what happened. Not hard to answer. If you don’t want to or can’t keep up your parental financial obligations then pack your kid a lunch. Parents were notified and they didn’t pay up. Plus parents can always check lunch balances online. They just ignored doing that because some how the school has to remind them about paying their bills. Everyone is looking for a hand out and someone else to blame. Bread and circuses all over again.

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