Thursday, July 31, 2014

Salt Lake school cafeteria manager, supervisor at center of student lunch controversy to return to work

By Morgan Jacobsen, Deseret News

Published: Wed, Feb. 12 4:13 p.m. MST

 The Salt Lake City School District announced Wednesday that Uintah Elementary School’s cafeteria manager and her supervisor will be returning to work.

The Salt Lake City School District announced Wednesday that Uintah Elementary School’s cafeteria manager and her supervisor will be returning to work.

(Steve Landeen, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — A cafeteria manager and her supervisor who were placed on leave after school lunches were taken away from dozens of students and thrown in the garbage will be returning to work.

The two employees at Uintah Elementary School were placed on paid leave while the Salt Lake City School District investigated why the lunches were taken from students who owed money in their lunch accounts.

The cafeteria manager will be returning to work Thursday, and her supervisor will return Tuesday, said district spokesman Jason Olsen.

One woman, whose daughter had her lunch taken away on Jan. 29, said Wednesday that she and other parents don't blame the cafeteria manager for the incident.

“We’re extremely happy to know she will be coming back,” said the woman who asked not to be named because she wanted to "lay low" after the incident that became national news. “We are sure that everything will be resolved as it should.”

The school district says it has instituted new measures to ensure parents are better informed about their child’s lunch account balances. Parents will receive automatic notifications when their child’s account balance is less than $10.

The district also enacted a new policy last week that says students will receive full lunches regardless of their account balances and any discussions about the lunch accounts will only involve parents and not the children.

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1. Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT,
Feb. 12, 2014

Where is the outrage towards the parents? THEY are the ones responsible for feeding their children, NOT the school. The school is involved in the process but that doesn't mean the resonsiblity is anywhere but with the PARENTS.

I'm sorry, "I forgot their balance was low" is not a good excuse. It's your child. Feed him/her.

My suggestion is schools start assessing fines to parents for going in the negative for lunch money.

The system can't be built on "pay if you want but no big deal if you don't pay"

Start fining the parents. For every dollar they go in the negative, have pay back twice that amount.

2. Kings Court
Alpine, UT,
Feb. 12, 2014

Well, at least the scapegoats can now return to work. I wonder if those who are truly responsible will ever face any public scorn. I doubt it.

3. Mont Pugmire
Fairview, UT,
Feb. 13, 2014

The REAL guilty ones are the parents. Next in line are the bureaucrats in the district offices. The poor employees were made the scapegoats in typical governmental fashion of seeking first to find someone ELSE to blame and then, sometimes, trying to fix the problem.
Huge Kudos go to a Jazz player and his efforts to reach out to the victims (the children).
I am sure this is not the only school to have treated the children poorly.

4. Steven S Jarvis
Orem, UT,
Feb. 13, 2014

It isn't always the parents fault for not knowing the balance was overdue.

I taught at a school in Tucson where overdue lunch notices went out for the first time during the school year in mid May. I had to tell a little girl to not panic at the $70 lunch bill, and to just ask her parent to pay whatever she could pay even if it was only $10. The fault in that case lied squarely on the shoulders of the principal who failed to send out the proper paperwork for free and reduced lunch and for never delegating responsibility. To her defense her husband passed away mid year after a long fight with cancer and she had to deal with the murder/suicide of a faculty member as well as a number of other valid reasons things didn't get done. In the end the school PTA covered the 10K shortfall.

Frankly, with what has been reported the problem stemmed from poor communication from the school and a new system was being used. Can't blame the parents for either of those problems.

5. Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT,
Feb. 13, 2014

@Steven,

YOu couldn't be more wrong. Its always the parents responsibility to make sure their kid is eating. Its the parents responsibility to request and fill out any reduced price paperwork they need to.

Its always the parents responsibility to ensure there is enough money to pay for their kids lunch or for proper communication with the school if there are other arrangements such as reduced price or free.

Always the parents responibilty to feed their kids.