February 6th, 2014
12:17 PM ET

Colorado Principal Says She Was Fired For Speaking Against School Lunch Policy

It's happened more than once – cafeteria workers taking school lunches away from children who don't have enough money on their pre-paid accounts and throwing the food away right in front of the child.

In one instance, school staff even stamped kids' hands to mark them out.

Noelle Roni is a former principal from Colorado who was fired in November, she says, for standing up to this policy and demanding cafeteria workers stop the stamping.

Roni spoke to CNN's Chris Cuomo on "New Day" Thursday and said she believed she was punished because a lunch staffer quit after she spoke with that person. Roni defended herself on the show.

"I had big concerns about kids not eating and we got to work together to get kids to eat in order to learn. I'm a very hands on principal. I was in the lunchroom every day, I saw what was going on. I had great relationships with the kids, and so I spoke directly with kids and families about this."


Posted by
Filed under: Interview • News • Videos
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Ivan

    I can't understand why this is even an issue. The solution is so easy, if the parents fail to put money into the account feed the child & just place a lien on the tax return.

    February 10, 2014 at 10:12 am | Reply
  2. Rose

    I commend her for sticking up for her students!! and if the administration fired her over this issue then each administrator should be forced to pay for each and every student, and if they do not pay then they should get fired.

    February 6, 2014 at 8:48 pm | Reply
  3. Deb

    No child should ever go without food! They are growing kids, it could be harmful to their health.

    February 6, 2014 at 8:26 pm | Reply
  4. Janet

    Maybe if schools would charge a one time fee for the years lunches at the beginning of the school year and refund any money not used at the end of the year, this could be avoided.

    February 6, 2014 at 7:37 pm | Reply
  5. Naeem

    Hats off to such school leaders who challenge such policies and laws

    February 6, 2014 at 7:13 pm | Reply
  6. LIsa

    What is wrong in this country is the attitude of so many people that those who have less than others don't deserve to be treated as human beings. People have become so arrogant, rude, and disrespectful to each other it's disgusting. There is very little compassion for others, and branding children (literally) is a vile, disgusting way to treat them. It is not their fault that the can't afford to pay, and it is not their responsibility to pay. We all know that there are freeloaders to every system out there, but there are also a lot of good people that have bad things happen to them which affect their ability to survive financially.

    The ability of parents to provide food for their own children is slowly being removed from many schools. For example, there have been schools that won't allow children to bring their own food to school, and when those children brought their lunches to school they were thrown away by the staff, leaving the children with nothing to eat.

    From what I saw on the beginning of the video above, the food shown on film being served to the children was pizza and french fries. How on earth is that supposed to be more nutritious that what a parent can send with a child anyway?

    Singling out a child and humiliating them in this manner should have resulted in the people responsible getting fired, NOT MAKING IT A POLICY OF THE SCHOOL to punish those who are innocent in all of this, and NOT firing the principal for trying to do the right thing. Sadly, so many parents have let the schools decide that they will allow the school system to make rules and regulations to suit the financial agenda of the Board of Education. Where is everyone's backbone, anyway? Sadly, so many people don't have one anymore because they are so busy being PC (politically correct) that they won't stand up for anything.

    February 6, 2014 at 4:55 pm | Reply
  7. Michelle

    I totally agree with her for standing up for these kids. With the Economy still not being where it use to be and people still struggling to get back on their feet, I think it's very sad that children have to be pointed out like that. I know in my daughters school one time she owed like 0.27 cents and was told if she didn't pay it the by the next day she wouldn't be able to eat. I mean come on .27 cents? It's not like we owed $100 dollars or something. And she was very embaressed in front of her classmates because it put a focus on her that she owed money it didn't matter the amount. It's very sad that people actually feel it's okay to do this to a child.

    February 6, 2014 at 2:16 pm | Reply
  8. nicole

    I can not believe there have not been any responses on this post. To brand our children, to embarasse them. I am appauled that this is allowed.

    February 6, 2014 at 1:35 pm | Reply
    • Coloradomom

      Only when we stand up for the people who appropriately protect our children, can we expect to change a system that allows people who use their strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker.

      February 7, 2014 at 9:04 am | Reply

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.