2 Staffers On Paid Leave After Students Watched Their Lunches Thrown Away

Two staffers were placed on paid leave while Utah’s Salt Lake City School District was investigating how up to 40 students watched their lunches be thrown away over unpaid accounts.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported Friday that Uintah Elementary School’s cafeteria manager and her supervisor were on paid administrative leave. Termination is on the table, depending on what the investigation turns up, according to district Superintendent McKell Withers.

Parents were outraged after children whose lunch accounts with the school had a negative or zero balance watched their lunches be thrown away on Tuesday, replaced with milk and fruit. The mix-up apparently occurred when cafeteria workers were unable to determine who hadn’t paid up before they distributed the meals.

A pair of Utah lawmakers, state Sens. Todd Weiler (R) and Jim Dabakis (D), visited Uintah Elementary on Thursday. They called the incident an “abuse of power” and suggested someone be fired, as well as vowed to craft legislation ensuring no students go hungry.

Image via Shutterstock / Mike Flippo

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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