Aside from serving as the Medical Director of the Complete Family Medicine clinic in Kirksville, Missouri, Dr. Justin Puckett is the father of Alia, a student at Kirksville Primary School.
Puckett was irate when Alia came home with a note from a substitute teacher, criticizing the lunch he and his wife Kylene packed for her.
The note reads: ''The cafeteria reported to me that Alia's lunch today included four chocolate bars, a bag of marshmallows, Ritz crackers and a pickle. Please see that she packs a proper lunch tomorrow.”
The note ended with “Parent signature requested,” and the Pucketts wrote back “Request declined.”
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Puckett was incensed at the implication he was failing to keep his daughter healthy. “Unfortunately, the letter didn't have what she had, correctly. She had four pieces of ham, a whole protein meat, she also had some pickles, which we admittedly cheat on pickles every once and awhile as a vegetable, because some fights just aren't worth having,” Puckett told Heartland Connection.
As for the sweet treats, Puckett explained that his daughter planned to share them. “[Alia] had four marshmallows in a Ziploc bag and then she had three very small pieces of chocolate, of which she ate one for lunch and then she also gave her brother and another friend one at an after school program,” he said.
Puckett believes the substitute teacher was trying to help, but the school’s principal, Tricia Reger, called on Wednesday to apologize. "She was apologetic for the letter and assured me that they understood that our daughter was being fed appropriately and that there was a little bit of an overreach with the way that was handled,” he said.
Kirksville Schools Superintendent Dr. Damon Kizzire said in a statement, “We have as educators been directed to provide healthy and nutritious foods for so long that we had an individual take it upon themselves to send a note home to parents. This will not happen again and I am sorry for any inconvenience.”