Closings & Delays

Mom outraged, employee on leave after student served lunch from trash can

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Pleasant Grove, UT (KSTU) — A mother in Pleasant Grove is furious with staff at the city’s junior high school after she said they fed her daughter lunch out of a trash can.

Sierra Prince is a special needs student in the 8th grade at Pleasant Grove Junior High School. While Wednesday was only her second day at school, she already isn’t looking forward to her third day.

“I don’t even know if I want to go to school tomorrow at all,” Prince said.

According to Prince, when she asked for a piece of pizza for lunch on Wednesday afternoon, she was told there was none left. However, after insisting she wanted pizza, a second kitchen employee pulled out what was left from the top of a trash can.

“I didn’t really like the taste of it at all,” Prince said. “It was nasty.”

A diabetic with learning disabilities, Prince explained she felt she had to listen to her school appointed aid and the staff.

“I didn’t want to eat it, but I was dosed for pizza anyway because I’m diabetic. So, I had to eat it,” Prince said.

The decision by the school isn’t sitting well with Prince’s mother, who learned about the incident when her daughter returned from school.

Nicole Cordoba said: “How could that happen to a child? What adult makes that decision? It’s common sense: We don’t eat out of trash cans.”

After Cordoba complained to the Alpine School District on Wednesday afternoon, the district’s Nutrition Services Director sent an email to school employees. Cordoba gave FOX 13 News a copy.

In part, the director said, “This was totally unacceptable. Your employee needs a reprimand and a discipline warning issued immediately. We never serve food that has been placed in a garbage can.”

According to a school district spokesman, a lunch manager has been placed on administrative leave, as a result of what happened. The district plans to investigate the incident further.

“Sierra can’t make her own decisions on what she eats,” Cordoba said. “That’s why they hired the helper. Not only one person made the decision for Sierra to eat out of the trash, three adults did.”

Cordoba has a meeting scheduled with the junior high’s principal and other district employees on Thursday afternoon.


  • ronald

    This is totally unacceptable, I agree with the manager being on leave. She should be suspended from her job for awhile without pay. And the school should find a way to make it up to the girl

  • Cindy

    Totally unacceptable. How would these adults like eating out of the trash. I too have a diabetic son and if this happened to my son, I would have someones job!

  • Elliott Lanosa

    The people involved, all of them should be fired. This is totally unacceptable and they probably thought the child would not say anything. Wonder how many other children they have served food from the trash. I would sue the hell out of them.

  • mary redcay

    nobody should eat out of trash cans these adults should be fired i dont care if the child has a learning disability or not they should not treat her or anyone else like this. I wonder how they would like to eat out of trash cans or their kids or grandkids i would sue the hell out of them

  • My Info

    You know were not getting the whole story the girl us proly a brat that threw a temper tantrum and the pizza p rolly wasn’t in the trash might have been sitting on something on the trash can big difference the whole story wasn’t released yet. You know how kids can be.

  • Angelique

    I have no words they brought a tear to my eye, I have two nephews who having learning disabilities and I would want nothing but the best for them when they go to school! Eating out of the trash? Reallly? They should be fired and something extra special done for the child!

  • SueEllen

    As a teacher by trade and a mother and grandmother, this is totally unacceptable for any child. Those involved need to be replaced.

  • Melissa

    People’s comments on how the child “probably” was a brat/throwing a tantrum for pizza- WHO cares. They are still a child and a special needs child on top of that. Adults Know better and are the ones who are supposed to be making decisions for the children based off of what is right. If she had been “dosed” with insulin for pizza then a little effort by the adults would be to feed the child something comparable with the amount of insulin she had been dosed with. Which is NOT hard to do at all. And if a problem was continuing then the ADULTs could have contacted the child parent for help.

  • Jon

    Administrative Leave???
    Not Good Enough.
    FIRED!!!! On The Spot.
    And Legal Action Taken
    By As Many Parties As Possible. Patents, The Principle Of School, Her
    Aid/Helper Should Also
    Be Publicly Humiliated & Charges Brought Forth

  • Elizabeth Anderssen Hesselbrock

    WHY are they sending her back to school after this? The situation isn’t even resolved yet. They have time to meet with the parents on THURSDAY? Unacceptable.

    Maybe they are in shock… and I can understand that. But someone needs to talk to these parents and help them find another place for their daughter. And the mother just wants these incompetents written up? Um, no. Fired. But bet if some of the “adults” are in a teachers’ union, no consequences will be issued.

  • Angel Allis

    With all of the policies in place for employment at a school, why is this even an issue? This story shows that the school employees are disregarding proper food and sanitation standards. Not to mention the moral standards that should be held by any school employee. If the child would have become ill, due to contamination from the trash can, possibly spreading the food borne illness to other students. An administrative leave would have been a basic slap on the wrist. If a student, would have fed another student, anything from the trash can…..YOU BET there would have been some ridiculous zero tolerance policy in place. So why doesn’t this apply to staff? Someone in that Kitchen violated many Servsafe procedures it’s ridiculous!!!

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