A Missouri school district has issued an apology to two parents after a substitute teacher sent a letter home with a student scolding the parents for their child’s lunch.
Justin Puckett, a family doctor, was shocked to see the note a substitute teacher sent home to his daughter Alia, telling him that her lunch was not healthy. Puckett posted a photo of the letter to his Facebook page.
According to the letter, Puckett’s daughter’s lunch was reported to the teacher by cafeteria staff.
The full letter reads as follows:
"Dr. and Mrs. Puckett, 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 letter also requested a parent signature, which Puckett responded to by writing in the blank space, “Request declined.”
The father says that the letter didn’t even accurately list the items his daughter had in her lunch.
"Unfortunately, the letter didn't have what she had, correctly,” Puckett told KTVO. “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. She also 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.”
Puckett received an apology via phone call from the school’s principal, but said that he still felt offended that the teacher seemed to question their parenting abilities in the letter. Puckett is the medical director of the Complete Family Medicine clinic in Kirksville and says he is aware of what makes up a healthy lunch.
The Superintendent of Kirksville Schools, Dr. Damon Kizzire, released a statement to KTVO.
“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,” the superintendent wrote in his statement. “This will not happen again and I am sorry for any inconvenience."
The Pucketts accepted the superintendent’s apology as well as the apology from the school’s principal.