Special Needs Student Is Given School Lunch From Trash Can

Sierra Prince is an eighth grade student at Pleasant Grove Junior High School in Utah who has a learning disability and suffers from diabetes. Given her health issues, she has been assigned a school lunch worker whose job it is to ensure she eats lunch items that are safe for her.

We're almost positive what this girl was given instead on her second day of school would NOT qualify. Not one, not two, but THREE school workers deemed it perfectly fine to reportedly serve her a slice of pizza straight out of the cafeteria trash can.

As you can imagine, her mother, Nicole Cordoba, is seeing red.


Sierra says she asked for pizza at lunch, but was told there wasn't any left. She reportedly kept requesting pizza and a second school employee grabbed a piece out of a garbage can and gave it to her to eat. The teen is used to listening to authorities at school when it comes to her meals, so she says she felt like she had to eat it.

At least the young girl realized this was totally wrong and had the courage to tell her mom as soon as she returned home from school that day. Cordoba, to her credit, didn't go rushing over to the building to give these people a talking to, and instead handled it with class -- by reporting the incident to the school district. And, to their credit, they also stepped up and did the right thing. Here's an excerpt from the email the district sent to school employees:

This was totally unacceptable. Your employee needs a reprimand and a discipline warning issued immediately. We never serve food that has been placed in a garbage can.

It's kind of amazing that this even needs to be stated in writing, isn't it? The school reportedly placed the worker on administrative leave and the district is continuing to investigate.

Kimberly Bird, spokeswoman for Alpine School District, recently issued a statement in which she explained that the worker thought she was doing the best thing for this student, given her diabetes:

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. And her not knowing the particulars thought that was the only thing she could have and therefore made a poor decision.

Perhaps the worker panicked and did what she could in a pinch to ensure this girl's health wasn't compromised. Even if that were the case, Sierra's mother should have been notified as soon as they realized they didn't have the right food for her and -- gosh, this just seems obvious -- under no circumstances should anyone involved in serving food in a school setting think it's okay to -- literally -- serve garbage to students.


Do you think there's any good excuse for what happened to this girl?


Image © iStock.com/EarioEgidi

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