PLEASANT GROVE, Utah – Eighth-grader Sierra Prince recently told her mom that lunch at Pleasant Grove Junior High School tasted like garbage.
And that’s because it was actually garbage.
Prince was left with a bad taste in her mouth for school lunch after a cafeteria employee this week forced her to eat hers from a trash can.
Prince told Salt Lake City’s Fox 13 television station that when she ordered a piece of pizza for school lunch Wednesday she was told there was none left. Prince, who suffers from diabetes and learning disabilities, apparently insisted on pizza because of her condition, then watched as a lunch person pulled a piece from a garbage can and served her the slice.
“I didn’t want to eat it, but I was dosed for pizza anyway because I’m diabetic. So, I had to eat it,” Prince told Fox. “It didn’t really taste good at all. It was nasty.”
Of course, Prince’s mother is livid.
“How could that happen to a child? What adult makes that decision? It’s common sense: We don’t eat out of trash cans,” Nicole Cordoba, the girl’s mother, said, according to News Channel 4.
She later learned that the trash lunch wasn’t the bone-headed move of one lunch lady, but was actually approved by her superiors.
“Sierra can’t make her own decisions on what she eats,” Cordoba said. “That’s why they hired a helper. Not only one person made the decision for Sierra to eat out of the trash, three adults did.”
Cordoba complained to school officials in the Alpine School District the same afternoon. In an email to school employees, Alpine’s nutrition services director said the incident was “totally unacceptable.”
“Your employee needs a reprimand and a discipline warning issued immediately,” according to an excerpt of the email quoted by Fox.
District officials are investigating the garbage picking and put a school lunch manager on administrative leave in the meantime. News reports did not indicate whether it was paid leave.
And while Cordoba has a meeting scheduled with district and school officials to give them a piece of her mind, her daughter isn’t exactly looking forward to going back to class.
“I don’t even know if I want to go to school tomorrow at all,” Prince told Fox Wednesday.