MOBERLY - Parents are outraged following the Moberly School District's decision Thursday to not allow students to eat school meals if the students owed lunch money to the school.
According to a Moberly High School student at least a dozen students weren't allowed to eat and had their lunches taken away.
Johnnie Carden said his son in 9th grade was embarrassed when the lunch workers dumped his lunch in the trash.
"He got to where he goes to pay for it and I guess he had a negative balance," said Carden. "So they took his tray from him and dumped it out. My son said he wasn't the only kid it was happening to. It was happening to other kids"
The interesting thing about the "negative balance" on his son's account is that Carden is enrolled in the free and reduced lunch program at Moberly High School and not required to pay for meals.
The Moberly School District was unavailable for comment Friday. KOMU 8 News briefly spoke with Moberly High School Principal Aaron Vitt. He said he couldn't comment unless the superintendent gave him permission, but he said Moberly Superintendent Gena McClusky was out of town on vacation.
The school district had the day off Friday for what the district's website calls "Easter Break," but some parents did get an email from the district apologizing for what happened Thursday. A full text of the message is posted below:
Dear Moberly High School Parent,
We want to begin by apologizing to every student that had food taken away from them on Thursday during the lunch shift and parent that was impacted by our actions. Our actions did not reflect the mission or the values of the Moberly School District.
Due to a miscommunication our practice was not followed and any student having a lunch charge had their food taken away. We are working to correct the communication issue and to ensure this does not happen again. We deeply regret the situation and offer this sincere apology.
If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Aaron Vitt at MHS or Mr. Tim Roling at CO.
Moberly School District