Students told to write thank-you letters to cafeteria staff after maggots were found in lunches
Vital to fuelling the mind of many a growing teen, it's really important that children get to take a little bit of time for their lunch for some good old-fashioned grub. But when your sandwich-making skills aren't quite up to scratch or if your kid is a fan of hot food, then school lunches are here to make everything... slightly better.
Let's be real here; school lunches are never going to be good. Edible? Probably. But good? Let's not get ahead of ourselves. Accepting the next bowl of slop from Lunch Lady Doris is never going to be a Michelin-star experience, but at least you know that whatever you're eating is probably safe to be consumed.
Unless you go to Madisonville Middle School in Monroe County, Tennessee, where students found some gross surprises in some of their food. First in their granola and then their blackberries a few days later, parents were understandably concerned when maggots appeared in their kids' lunches.
When that kind of thing happens at your school cafeteria, what's a school district to do? As reported by the Knoxville News Sentinel, parent such as Brandy Schubert had a lot of questions at a school board meeting after the incidents occurred, but “school board members cut them off, saying the issue had ‘been addressed’ and it would not be discussed further because it was not on the school board agenda". Schubert was not happy.
"They said they contacted the distributor and the health department has already been out there, and that's all they can do. We were not happy with that answer and so we told them we would go further with the issues and contact the state health department again."
"I feel like they should have spoke to us about it and not be rude and cut us off," she added, saying that the school told them that if they wanted to discuss the issue, they would have to contact the board and ask them to bring it up at the next school board meeting.
Then, Schubert came across a picture taken by her daughter, Madison Smith. The picture appeared to show the students being instructed on a whiteboard to write a letter to the cafeteria ladies, saying what they are thankful for using descriptive language. "We are making an effort to be positive," said the board.
Schubert wasn't impressed. "It's like they are bullying our kids," she said, while Monroe County Schools Director Tim Blankenship would not discuss the blackberry incident at all. In an e-mailed statement to the Sentinel, he explained that school officials believed it was an isolated problem.
"After being made aware of the granola incident, the health inspector was contacted to return to Madisonville Middle School and follow-up after an unrelated health inspection that had occurred earlier that same day, resulting in a score of 97. During the reinspection all dry goods were checked and a report was issued by the inspector indicating that no bugs of any kind were found, as well as no out-of-date food."
Elizabeth Hart, associate director of the Office of Communication & Media Relations for the Tennessee Department of Health, said that no action will be taken against the school.