School Board addresses lunch controversy

April 18, 2012 2:18:31 PM PDT
The Hoke County Board of Education took an unusual step Monday in the controversial case of little girl in pre-K who was told to eat cafeteria food, even though she had a home-packed lunch.

The teacher who told the little girl to get more food has since resigned. Now, the board has released documents from her personnel file. Board member said what's in that file tells the real story about happened.

The school board defended its policies after they say a little girl was sent through the cafeteria lunch line in January to get more food, even though she brought a home-packed meal.

"Hoke County Schools are not the lunch police," said school board attorney Nick Sojka. "There is no requirement, no mandate that lunches be searched, that lunches be inspected."

The school board said documents in the personnel file of West Hoke Elementary School teacher Margaret Maynor prove she didn't follow state guidelines.

The school board says Maynor sent the girl and two other children through the lunch line, when she noticed required USDA items were missing from their home-packed lunches.

Apparently, the little girl ended up eating chicken nuggets, instead of her turkey sandwich, and banana from home.

"The procedure is that the food be brought to their place, rather than sending these children through a lunch line," said Sojka.

The school system said state rules require those actions. Maynor was later suspended with pay but the school system said it was for not fully cooperating with their investigation and providing incomplete and misleading information.

School system officials say Maynor later voluntarily resigned.

Since the incident, the school system said more training has been provided to staff members.

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