Meeting to address student lunches being taken, thrown away doesn’t satisfy some parents

Posted at 9:33 PM, Mar 12, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-12 23:33:26-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Angry parents showed up to a Salt Lake City School board meeting Wednesday night hoping to get more answers about why dozens of Uintah elementary students were denied lunch more than a month ago.

Many left the meeting feeling even more upset.

Things got heated when the school board members gave information from a prepared report rather than answering direct questions from angry parents. Some board members think the vocal parents who showed up Wednesday are in the minority and said everyone needs to just move on from the school lunch debacle.

"Right now we just want to say this is how decisions were made," said Kristi Sweet, who is a Salt Lake City School District board member.

What was advertised as a question and answer session with board members was actually board members reading from talking points given to them by the district's HR department. Parents came wanting to finding out why nearly 40 Uintah Elementary student's lunches were either taken away or thrown away because there wasn't money in their kids' accounts.

When it came time to answer questions from parents in the crowd, Sweet said, "To shout things from the audience, and we've gone ahead and allowed that to happen and I would just caution that we need to hear what the board members have to say and if we want to take questions then we will, so the motion right now is to adjourn."

Board Member Michael Clara would not allow the meeting to end, and that's when some Uintah Elementary mothers were finally allowed to speak up.

"I have a couple questions none of them were included in your list and am wondering what recourse I have," said parent Annie Payne.

At the end of the meeting, the parents who did show up left more frustrated than they came, saying they still don't know what happened.

"My main purpose here was to hear the answers the school board had for us, as always, I am a little frustrated because I’m not seeing any real answers,” parent Erica Lukes said. “It seems like they're running around and diverting the issue.”

Another issue parents raised: It's 40 days later, and the district hasn't started an external investigation yet into what happened at Uintah. No word on what happens next.

The school district put new policies into place following the incident, click here for details.