LAKE ELSINORE (CBS) — A Lake Elsinore mother is irate at what she says her 8-year-old daughter was forced to eat at school – a sandwich fished from the garbage.

“This aide took out the uneaten apples and the juice box and the sandwich, the whole lunch, out of the trash can and made my daughter eat the entire thing. All of it,” said the mother, identified only as Irene.

Greg Mills, reporting for CBS2, said the third grader’s mother and the school differ on the facts, but agree on one thing: an incident involving her daughter’s lunch took place last Friday at Earl Warren Elementary School in Lake Elsinore.

“We believe this to be an isolated incident,” said Greg Bowers, the district’s assistant superintendent.

“I’ve had three other people come to me and say that they first-hand witnessed this same aide doing it to three other people,” Irene said.

According to the school’s principal, the child was not forced to eat the lunch but that she asked if she could eat it.

“I can’t imagine my daughter or anybody else saying ‘please can I eat out of the trash can’,” she said.

The school also contends that the food was not in the trash but rather, the sandwich still inside a sealed baggie, was on top of clean lunch trays.

“It was not pulled off the top of clean lunch trays. It was pulled out of the trash,” the mother insists.

The school district does agree a mistake was made. In an email, the district superintendent told Mills the employee made a very poor decision and that appropriate disciplinary action was taken.

“We do believe this individual had good intent but there is no policy, no procedure in place that we would force children to stay at their seats and consume all of their lunch,” Bowers said.

Irene says she wants to send her daughter to a school in a different district.

Other parents Mills’ spoke with, who expressed alarm over this incident, otherwise praised the school.

One in fact said, “it’s a great school.”

Comments (26)
  1. truth hurts says:

    appropriate disciplinary action! what 2 week suspension with pay.

    1. ben says:

      none of your business if you must know.

  2. Mel Gibbs says:

    Maybe it Tasted Pretty good. Who Knows?

  3. Mrs. Rogers says:

    Today’s youngsters are savvy and sophisticated in the use of tactics against school administrators. The negative publicity generated by vivid imagery quickly adds up and takes a heavy toll.

    These 3rd graders can easily bring an elementary school principal and the school board to their knees.

    Don’t fool yourselves. These kids know what they want and they are ready to do whatever it takes to get it.

    Bring back Pizza Day. Now!!!

    1. isabelle says:

      Actually, this happend to my son in a different school district, he was 9, maybe mrs. rodgers you might enjoy eating out of the trash, but this is blatant child abuse.

  4. Stubby says:

    The article doesn’t indicate whether this is a school that provides free lunches. If it is, then the aid was right. Make the little n’er do wells appreciate what entitlements are and not throw it out. If is was food from home, then it was none of the aid’s business. There shouldn’t be free food in any school. The taxpayer is not responsible for these young parasitic offspring and future wards of the state.

    1. Dominque Jefferson says:

      You can’t condemn the children because their parents actions or lack there of. And stop assuming things. It doesn’t matter, in my opinion, if it was a free lunch or not. Children should NOT be taught that its okay to throw out a meal just because they may not want it, when people around the world, or even that kid that sits next to them in class are literally starving.

      1. Stubby says:

        I agree that throwing away good food is not right. Have a nice day and Happy Halloween.

    2. Del Wasso says:

      “…The taxpayer is not responsible for these young parasitic offspring and future wards of the state.”

      As long as the wealthiest of Americans feel ‘entitled’ to lay off their domestic workers (if they so choose) and ship an entire factory overseas, a PRIVILEGE that only comes courtesy of foreign trade treaties, I have no problem with cradle-to-the-grave welfare.

      How do you like THEM apples, Stunny?

      Americans best wake the hell up.

  5. sandi says:

    What was the poor decision according to the school superintendent? Very poor re[porting, hard to figure what did happen.

  6. Renee Jones says:

    As someone who has worked in schools I have seen lunch aides taking
    ‘uneaten’ food such as fruit and recycling it so others can eat, which is disgusting . You don’t know if they kid has put the food in their mouth and did not bite, or if they had been touhing it with their grimmy hands. People would be surprised at some of the things that occur in schools

  7. swhitS says:

    According to KTLA.COM “We had an employee who made a bad decision. It won’t happen again.”
    The school principal, Ryan Dent, sent a memo on Monday directing campus supervisors to never force children to eat their lunch and to never remove anything from the trash, particularly food items.
    So much for any disciplinary actions! The woman should sue, pigs eat trash not humans.

  8. mr. rogers says:

    Apparently this young child does not have an older brother or sister back at home.

    If she did then she would already be familiar with having her favorite teddy bear disappear into the trash.

    And eating something gross out of the trash can isn’t such a big deal after a
    your older brother has forced you to do it a few times.

  9. Vik says:

    Idiotic parents like this one are making a big deal out of nothing. I don’t believe she actually ate out of trash’. Probably that sandwich was on top of the tray of something like that and this idiot is going all crazy.
    There is something wrong with you daughter if she can’t eat like every other normal child at school. Children with this kind of parenting grow up to be Prozac popping obese freaks who are always blaming the world for their multiple problems.

  10. Jessica says:

    I remember when I was a student myself and saw so much food being wasted and come home and ask my parents why the other kids throw away their food when we are told to never waste food. That’s why menus are given so that parents can plan their children’s meals, you tell you child what is going to be served on that day and if they don’t like what’s on the menu, you pack them a lunch. Most of my school days I took a sack lunch, my dad income was not only to pay for my family and I but for other’s as well and I mean welfare. The kids I noticed that were dumping the food were all on the free meal program. I got to eat for one year at a middle school cafeteria because I worked there even though I was a student myself , my pay was the lunch. It angered me to see so much food dumped daily when I worked there and I was just a kid where I could have thought oh big deal like the kids do now days. They would only eat a couple of things then dump the rest, no respect for food when there are lots of starving children in other parts of the world. I think there should be no more free lunch programs anymore, it’s the sole responsibility of the parents as mine were to make sure they eat. If you can’t afford to feed your child, then don’t have any..plain and simple.

    1. Stubby says:

      Jessica. Great post and right on. When individuals don’t pay for something, they don’t appreciate it whether it be food, EBT or medical care. I have had it with entitlements for parasites. Parents are responsible for their offspring, not me and the other taxpayers. No more free food programs.

  11. RiceARonnie says:

    my teacher made a student eat CHALK in front of the class, so there.

    my babysitter molested me and convinced me not to tell anyone, saying that this is how life is, and now he’s a teacher at a school.

    i am not proud.

  12. Joseph Johnson says:

    if it was a burrito it would not have been thrown away ya think”

  13. Mike_88 says:

    I remember going to art class and the boys had to put there lunches on the left side of the hall (in the sun). My mayo got spoiled and the lunch aid made me eat it to go to recess. I almost vomited every bite and sat there the whole recess next to her not finishing my sandwich.

    Make your own rules cause policy makes no sense in this world.

  14. JS says:

    It’s hard to find good day care. Maybe that’s why an increasing number of people are raising their own kids.

  15. RAY says:

    i do not belive this story this is what may have happen and i base it off the fact of things i saw when i was in school. i think the child forgot, lost or simply did not have a lunch the child went to the aide and asked for something to eat I DO belive he/she gave this child a sandwith that was there on a tray but i DO NOT belive it was taken from the trash i PERSONALLY saw in my school a ledge where we were told to leave things we brought in our lunch and did not care to eat. i personally left the tuna sandwitches my mother sent I HATE TUNA and the aides or teachers would take things from this ledge for kids who did not have a lunch THAT IS WHAT I THINK HAPPEN HERE

  16. Michael J. McDermott says:

    More issues of great importance for “flake-o-land” to address.

  17. randy says:

    If true, dumb act on the part of the employee, but why is this news? Does every offense have to turn into a news story?

  18. slwridnwmn says:

    When my son was elementary school age, he was in the free lunch program. The school was notified of his extreme food allergies for which he was supposed to recieve a modified lunch. He never did and often had to throw much of what he recieved in the trash. If he had been forced to eat something he was allergic to, he could have died. Thank goodness, the aides at his school had more common sense than to force a child to eat out of the trash. By the way, I think it is pretty normal for any kid, regardless of whether the lunch is free or not, to just not be hungry sometimes.

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