Brooks High parent claims daughter was denied lunch; school refutes claim

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KILLEN, Ala. (WHNT) - You'd likely be upset if your child came home saying they were denied food at school. Some Tennessee Valley parents say that's exactly what happened this week at one school.

A parent emailed WHNT News 19 saying, "96 students at Brooks High School had their lunches taken away and thrown in the trash.”

Shane Tanner sends his daughter to Brooks High School each day.  It’s where he expects her to be educated, supervised and fed.

But he says that didn’t happen on Monday.

The Tanners contacted us by email first, stating their daughter was denied the right to eat Monday because she had an unpaid balance of $4 on her lunch account.

Shane Tanner admitted it was an oversight on his part that she didn’t have the money in her account.  But it angered him students were denied the right to eat lunch because of an issue with the parents paying.

Schools Superintendent Jennifer Gray said she immediately investigated once she got word of what may have happened.

“When students came through the lunch line, if they carried a balance on their charge lunch account, they were asked to go to the office to speak with the administrator about charging again,” Gray explained.

Gray said from what she has been able to gather, students were told last week they needed to clear up any unpaid balances since the end of school is approaching.

She says there are six pages of students at Brooks High School with unpaid balances. But she added, no child will ever be denied the ability to eat because of money. And Gray says no administrators or cafeteria workers will ever take a student’s lunch tray from them and throw it away.

“At no time will we refuse a lunch to any student, that’s just something that we will not condone,” stated Gray.

Gray said word about lunchroom workers taking nearly 100 food trays from students and throwing them away was a social media rumor.   No lunches were discarded, she said.

Shane Tanner hopes the school will communicate better with the parents who are in control of their finances, and not the students.

Superintendent Gray urges all parents to check their online school lunch accounts to make sure they are current and don’t have any unpaid balances.

And Gray asks if parents have any questions, contact their student’s school or the central office.