Outraged US parents have been given an apology by school officials after an employee at a primary school in Utah confiscated and binned the lunches of up to 40 children.
The children, whose parents has apparently not kept up with their dinner-money payments, were given a drink of milk and a piece of fruit instead.
And their parents were furious to find out that their children has been publicly humiliated in this way.
“It was pretty traumatic and humiliating,” one parent, who insisted her daughter’s account was not, in fact, in arrears, told the Salt Lake City Tribune. “I think it’s despicable. These are young children that shouldn’t be punished or humiliated for something the parents obviously need to clear up.”
And at least two Utah state senators expressed their disapproval, too. “I get that the school needs to be paid,” said Senator Todd Weiler. “But this was bullying.”
School-district officials then stepped in with an apology. “This situation could have and should have been handled in a different manner,” a spokesperson said. “We apologise.”
This is not the first time school pupils in the US have had their school dinners taken away; there were similar incidents in 2013 in the states of Massachusetts, Indiana, Maine and Kentucky.