Special Needs Student Given Lunch from Garbage Can


What would you do as a parent if you found out that the cafeteria workers at your child’s school served him/her lunch from the garbage can? You would be outraged! I know I would be livid and at the school in a flash.

Now consider how you would feel if your child had a learning disability that makes it difficult for him/her to make decisions?

That’s what happened to Sierra Prince, an eighth grader at Pleasant Grove Junior High School in Utah. Sierra, who not only has learning disabilities but is also diabetic came home from school and told her mother that her lunch that day tasted nasty, like garbage. When Nicole Cordoba, Sierra’s mother started asking why, she found out that a cafeteria worker retrieved a piece of pizza from the trash can and served it to her daughter.

Sierra said that she ordered a piece of pizza for lunch but was told they were out of pizza. She insisted on having pizza because of her diabetes so the cafeteria employee took a piece of pizza out of the trash can and slapped it on her tray and ordered her to eat it. Sierra told the local news:

“I didn’t want to eat it, but I was dosed for pizza anyway because I’m diabetic. So, I had to eat it. It didn’t really taste good at all. It was nasty.”

Cordoba was livid when she heard what had happened and immediately complained to the school board in the form of an email. She later told local media:

“How could that happen to a child? What adult makes that decision? It’s common sense: We don’t eat out of trash cans.”

“Sierra can’t make her own decisions on what she eats. 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.”

One of the other cafeteria personnel that approved of serving Sierra from the trash was a supervisor.

In her email to the school district, Cordoba reportedly wrote:

“Your employee needs a reprimand and a discipline warning issued immediately.”

The school district has launched an investigation into the incident and has placed the cafeteria manager on administrative leave pending the outcome. Cordoba has scheduled a meeting with school and district officials where she intends to tie into them about what happened to her daughter.

In the meantime, Sierra said:

“I don’t even know if I want to go to school tomorrow at all.”

I would think that serving any student from a trash can would be a major health violation that should get the school and worker in deep trouble. I hope that all three adults that were part of that decision are severely reprimanded to the point of suspensions without pay for at least one pay period. Perhaps if it hurts them in their purses they’ll definitely think twice before ever doing something that stupid and illegal again.

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