A suburban Seattle school district spokesman has apologized after a middle school cafeteria worker took back and threw away the lunch of a student who didn't have sufficient money in his school account to pay for it.
KOMO-TV reports that the Kent, Washington, student's father, Jimmie Keys, was irate when his son told him what happened last week in front of other students.
Kent schools serve about 19,000 meals a day in a district with 28,000 students. Lunches cost 40 cents and many students pay through an account similar to a debit card. Parents can load money onto the accounts. In this case, Keys says his son apparently had just 14 cents left in the account -- so he was 26 cents short.
District spokesman Chris Loftis confirms the father's account and tells KOMO, "We made a mistake."
The spokesman says the cafeteria worker apparently went too far in supporting the district's effort to encourage parents to pay outstanding meal account debts. Loftis says the district will change its parent notification policy.