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School district apologizes for student lunch seizures

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In Utah, the Salt Lake City School District has apologized for students who had their lunches seized by lunch room staff. One mother reported that when her child had the lunch thrown away because of a balance on her child’s lunch account.

The mother, Erica Lukes stated, “People are upset, obviously, by the way this has been handled because it’s really needless and quite mean. Regardless if it’s $2, $5, you don’t go about rectifying a situation with a balance by having a child go through that.”

Salt Lake City School District spokesman Jason Olsen stated, “This was a mistake. There shouldn’t have been food taken away from these students once they went through that line.”

The school district is investigating the incident that occurred at Uintah Elementary School and have revealed that they plan of working to ensure students aren’t having to deal with this again in the future.

In place of the lunch that was thrown away, the students were given milk and fruit. Giving the students fruit is standard practice for students who don’t have any lunch money.

Olsen revealed that parents were notified that the children were behind on lunch payments. One district employee made the decision to take the lunches away from the students. Olsen insists that the district policy requires the parents be given plenty of time to make a payment into the lunch account.

Erica Lukes said that the children were upset and confused. They even began sharing food with each other.

Olsen revealed that the district had been getting angry messages from all over the country. The school principal created a lunch account that would cover any lunches for students who didn’t have lunch money.

Utah State Senator Todd Weiler, called the situation an indefensible “grievous mistake.” “To me, this rises to the level of bullying. These children were humiliated in their own school, in front of their classmates.”

Sen. Jim Dabakis on the other hand believes what happened is a direct result of poor school funding. “We just plain need more money to feed our school children. There should not be a hungry child in this state.”

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©Kelly Cozzone, All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced without prior permissions from the author. The first two sentences may be reposted with a link back to the original article.

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