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Utah School Adopts New Policies (That Don't Involve Stealing Kids' Lunches)

Utah school changes policies after controversy
Photograph by Getty Images/Hemera

Last month, a Salt Lake City, UT school made headlines for some not-so-great reasons: due to their parents' unpaid balances, it literally took away the lunches of 32 elementary school students. The total unpaid balance? A whopping $64. (Please!)

How anyone could take away food from hungry kids was (and still is) beyond us. And once the news reached the public, it became pretty clear to everyone just how out of line the school administrators were. But it seems the Salt Lake City School District is changing its tune in light of all the bad press.

On Friday, school officials apologized for the whole debacle, and announced that going forward, students will always be given a full meal–even if their parents owe money on food accounts. Instead, they'll flag those that fall behind on payments by $10 or more, and connect with the students' parents directly. And last, but not least, they put the two employees on leave who denied kids their lunch.

We're thinking the parents of those kids are especially happy about that last part. After all, in the words of mom Erica Lukes, the whole ordeal was "pretty traumatic and humiliating." Her 11-year-old daughter was one of the kids who had her lunch taken away.

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