School Seizes Food From Little Kids With Unpaid Cafeteria Bills

Two school district employees are now on paid leave over the incident at a Salt Lake City elementary school.

Bullies stealing kids’ lunches has long been the crux of jokes by stand-up comedians and cartoonists.

But it was no joke when adult school employees seized school lunches from as many as 40 elementary school kids whose parents had fallen behind on paying their school lunch bills, reports The Salt Lake Tribune.

It happened Tuesday after school officials were unable to contact some parents by telephone to alert them that their kids’ lunch tabs were overdue, says the Tribune.

The Tribune reported on the school district’s explanation:

… cafeteria workers weren’t able to see which children owed money until they had already received lunches ….

The workers then took those lunches from the students and threw them away … because once food is served to one student it can’t be served to another.

Children whose lunches were taken were given milk and fruit instead.

There has been a public outcry over the incident, which so far has resulted in a school cafeteria manager and a district supervisor being placed on paid leave, says The Associated Press. The wire service says the number of children whose lunches were seized was about 32.

State Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, called the incident “bullying,” when he and state Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake, City, visited the school soon after the incident, the Tribune said.

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Stacy Johnson

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