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25 Children Denied Lunch at School for Insufficient Funds, 4 Workers Fired

Update Date: Apr 05, 2013 09:06 PM EDT

A New York food service company says it has fired four employees after an incident at occurred at a Massachusetts school where 25 students were denied lunches this week because their prepaid accounts ran low.

Needless to say parents are furious that their kids were denied lunch after being in school all day. Outraged parents said some students at Coelho Middle School in Attleboro cried when they were told they could not eat on Tuesday because they couldn't pay or their pre-paid accounts were short on funds. According to the Associated Press, the cafeteria employee instructed the 25 children to return the food which they had already selected and placed on their trays ready to eat.

The lunch decision had outraged parents. "I told them this is bullying; that's neglect, child abuse," said parent Jo-An Blanchard, according to CNN.

Principal Andrew Boles apologized and blamed the culinary company. "My expectation is that every child, every adult, every parent, every student, every teacher is respected in this building, and that didn't happen yesterday because of Whitson's," he told WJAR.

Company officials said it was a violation of their policy and apologized.

"Employees had taken it upon themselves to institute this change; it was not condoned or approved," said Whitson spokeswoman Holly Von Seggern. "We had absolutely no idea."

Van Seggern says the company will give free lunches to all Coelho students for three days next week and host a barbeque for students and families later.

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