A Minnesota school district is apologizing after video surfaced showing high school cafeteria workers throwing away the hot meals of students with outstanding lunch debt. Richfield High School came under volley Monday after around 40 students had their hot lunches taken off their trays, thrown out, and replaced with a cold lunch when cafeteria staff saw they had lunch debt of more than $15, NBC Minneapolis affiliate KARE 11 reports.
The incident was recorded on social media, and the school district in Richfield, about seven miles south of Minneapolis, quickly apologized. “We deeply regret our actions today and the embarrassment that it caused several of our students,” the district wrote in a statement Monday.
“We have met with some of the students involved and apologized to them.” Richfield Superintendent Steven Unowsky told KARE the actions of cafeteria staff were “inappropriate.”
“There are multiple failures we had in this situation and our job is to fix it. First and foremost [in] the way we treated our kids. We should never leave kids with the feeling they had from the experience,” Unowsky said.
The school said students should not be told publicly in front of their peers that they owe money, and instead should be informed about any lunch debt from a social worker or a guidance counselor. The school also said a hot lunch should never be taken off a student’s tray, even if they have lunch debt.