PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The superintendent from Canon McMillan says the District isn’t about shaming students at lunch and that reports of hot meals being snatched away from kids simply aren’t true.
David Highfield: The story the woman tells of taking the lunch the hot lunch away from the child that’s not true?
Michael Daniels: That’s not true. By all accounts that have been shared with me that is not true.
David Highfield: She was never instructed to do that? She never did that?
Michael Daniels: She was not and she did not.
A former cafeteria worker at Wylandville Elementary tells a different story. She resigned after she said she was instructed to take hot lunches from two students.
“His eyes welled up with tears. I’ll never forget his name, the look on his face,” she said.
Stacy Koltiska posted about on Facebook after she says a supervisor ordered her to take a hot meal away from the second child.
“The woman I was working with was trying to get my attention, but I didn’t see cause we’re serving so many kids, to tell me before I gave him the chicken to give him the cheese. But it was too late. He already had his tray,” she explained.
The superintendent claims what really happened was that the cashier realized the boy’s account had been paid up, so the alternative cold meal was replaced with chicken nuggets.
Michael Daniels: When we realized his account was no longer delinquent, he received a hot lunch.
David Highfield: That very day?
Michael Daniels: He ate chicken nuggets that day. Yes. There were no tears there was no embarrassment.
The opposite of what the former lunch lady claims.
David Highfield: Why do think she’s telling that story on Facebook and to television stations?
Michael Daniels: I really can’t answer that. But it is quite unfortunate.
However, Koltiska says she’s insulted that the superintendent would accuse her of not telling the truth.
“The one thing I am not is a liar,” said Koltiska. “Why would I make this up? I’m not a liar, and I don’t like and I don’t appreciate this attack on my character.”
She maintains she was told to take two children’s hot lunches away, and she says even giving alternative lunches from the start shames the kids.
“This is a bad policy,” said Koltiska. “You made a bad choice, and instead of fixing it or having a discussion about it, you’re now going to blame an employee over policy.”
But the superintendent says the program is working. He says delinquent accounts have dropped dramatically and that when implemented correctly, it shames no one.
In years past, it’s been taxpayers who pick up the tab when parents don’t pay.