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Community outraged after student's lunch is taken

By Bre Clark
Published On: Feb 18 2014 04:31:09 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 18 2014 07:36:10 PM CST

Parents are outraged after a student's lunch was taken at Rigby Middle School. The school said the community needs to hear both sides of the story.

RIGBY, Idaho -

Less than a week after a group of students lunches were taken in Utah, parents are outraged after a student's lunch was taken at Rigby Middle School. According to a Facebook post from Janet Stephenson, her daughter witnessed the whole thing.

"I'm irritated at how these situations are handled, frustrated at the lack of compassion, and I'm disappointed in the lunch lady even though she might have been following procedure and doing her job," Stephenson posted.

Vice Principal David Meyer said the school has dealt with overdrawn lunch accounts in the past, but federal guidelines stops the school from spending even a dime over what's in the student's account.

"There are very strict federal guidelines that restrict students from overcharging, in addition to how much information we can give them about their account," said Meyer.

The school said a lot of the time students are allowed to overcharge to a certain extent because they know how important it is that students have a healthy meal in order to learn better. That's why Rigby Middle School's head bookkeeper said she tries to notify parents every week about their students' overdrawn account.

"Pulling trays is not something that we enjoy, it breaks all of our hearts because we are here for the children," she said.

The Jefferson School District said they are not going to prevent students from eating due to an overdrawn account until they find a solution. Free or reduced lunch is provided by the federal government for families who qualify for assistance. A form can be found on the district's website. The school has also set up a fund that anyone can donate to help students who are in need.

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