Society

Utah Mom Furious After Special Needs Daughter is Served School Lunch Out of a Trash Can

| by Lisa Fogarty

A mother in Pleasant Grove, Utah is enraged after learning her daughter, who is a special needs student in the eighth grade at Pleasant Grove Junior High School, was served lunch out of a garbage can by a school employee.

Sierra Prince says she asked a cafeteria worker for a slice of pizza at lunch on her second day of school this week. The employee told her there was no pizza left, reports Fox 13, at which point the student says she kept insisting she wanted pizza. In response, another kitchen worker reportedly pulled a slice out of the trash can and served it to Sierra.

“I didn’t really like the taste of it at all,” the girl said. “It was nasty.”

Sierra, who is a diabetic with a learning disability, says she listens to and trusts school employees when it comes to her special diet, so she ate the slice anyway.

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Sierra told her mother, Nicole Cordoba, about the incident when she returned home from school that day. Cordoba says she filed a complaint with the Alpine School District that day.

“How could that happen to a child?” Cordoba told Fox 13 News. “What adult makes that decision? It’s common sense: We don’t eat out of trash cans.”

A school district spokesman says the lunch manager has been placed on administrative leave and that they plan to continue an investigation. The district’s Nutrition Services Director reportedly made it clear to the school employees that their actions were unacceptable.

“Sierra can’t make her own decisions on what she eats,” Cordoba said. “That’s why they hired the helper. Not only one person made the decision for Sierra to eat out of the trash, three adults did.”

Kimberly Bird, Alpine School District Spokeswoman, says the lunch manager was trying to do the right thing and that she, another lunch employee and an aide made the call to serve her the pizza.

“In this particular case, the lunch manager, not understanding everything, was told that pizza was what her insulin – that she had just received 15 minutes earlier, the [carbohydrate] count was for pizza,” Bird said. “And her not knowing the particulars thought that was the only thing she could have and therefore made a poor decision.”

Cordoba says the school should have notified her and that her daughter deserves an apology.

Source: Fox 13 News

Photo Credit: Tim Pierce/Flickr, Veronica Werhane