Girl forced to eat sandwich from trash

Oct. 29, 2011 at 11:21 AM
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LAKE ELSINORE, Calif., Oct. 29 (UPI) -- The superintendent of a school district in Southern California has apologized to the mother of third-grader forced to eat a sandwich taken from a trashcan.

The (Lake Elsinore) Californian reported the mother, who asked to be identified only by her first name, Irene, said a supervisor at East Warren Elementary School had forced her 8-year-old daughter to eat the sandwich, which was sealed in a plastic bag when it was thrown away.

The supervisor pulled the sandwich from the trash can and walked to the playground where the third-grader was and forced her to eat it, the mother said.

In an e-mail to the mother, Lake Elsinore Unified School District Superintendent Frank Passarella wrote: "As I mentioned on the phone yesterday, I'm absolutely shocked that anyone would ask a student to take something out of the trash can. This practice is unacceptable, inappropriate and will not be tolerated by our school district,"

Passarella said in the e-mail he was "extremely sorry that this incident took place and please know that this will not happen in the future."

Principal Ryan Dent sent campus supervisors a memo this week telling them not to force children to eat their lunch and to never take anything out of the trash, especially food.

But the mother said the supervisor should be penalized.

"I don't think this memo will make people do the right thing," she said.

She said her daughter is now afraid to eat lunch at school and that she plans to eat lunch with her daughter at a nearby park.

The mother said she would like to visit the campus during lunch but school policy forbids it.

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