Reached again, a different representative said they had “no information at this time” about the situation. A West Hoke Elementary official similarly denied any knowledge and referred all questions to the school district.
The school district says it was just a misunderstanding:
Bob Barnes, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, told the McClatchy News Service Thursday that the first preschooler to make headlines just misunderstood her teacher when she thought she was told to ditch her homemade lunch for one from the cafeteria . . .
“We are not the lunch bag police,” Barnes told McClatchy. “We would never put a child in any type of embarrassing situation. . .”
Barnes confirmed there was an agent from Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Child Development and Early Education at the school Jan. 30 who examined six student lunches and determined one did not make the nutritional cut — presumably the first little girl whose story made news.
And the state says they aren’t doing any such inspections:
In a statement to The Blaze, the Division of Child Development and Early Education said it is investigating what happened but flatly denied any of its employees or contractors “instructed any child to replace or remove any meal items.” The division issued a similar statement to McClatchy even after Barnes said it was one of their agents who examined the lunches.
“It is not DHHS’ policy to inspect, go through or question any child about food items brought from home. The facts we have gathered confirm that no DHHS employee or contractor did this,” the statement said.
These stories contradict each other, so they can’t all be true. Most likely, none of them are, because we a second incident has now come to light:
Now a second mother from the same school has come forward exclusively to The Blaze to say the same thing happened to her daughter. . .When [Diane] Zambrano picked Jazlyn up from school late last month, she was told by Jazlyn’s teacher that the lunch she had packed that day did not meet the necessary guidelines and that Jazlyn had been sent to the cafeteria.
The lunch Zambrano packed for her daughter? A cheese and salami sandwich on a wheat bun with apple juice. The lunch she got in the cafeteria? Chicken nuggets, a sweet potato, bread and milk.