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School district apologizes after student lunches trashed

– Erica Lukes and other Utah parents were outraged when their children had their deep dish pizzas and other food taken and thrown away at their elementary school after a cashier said they owed money on their lunch accounts.

Lukes said taking the $2 meals from about 30 students was “humiliating and demoralizing.”

“People are upset, obviously, by the way this has been handled because it’s really needless and quite mean,” she said. “Regardless if it’s $2, $5, you don’t go about rectifying a situation with a balance by having a child go through that.”

The Salt Lake City School District apologized Thursday and said it was investigating what happened at Uintah Elementary.

The students were given milk and fruit, a standard practice when students don’t have lunch money.

Olsen said officials started notifying parents Monday that many children were behind on the lunch payments. It appears one district employee decided to start taking lunches the next day, he said, even though district policy requires that parents be given time to respond to account shortfalls.

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