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Letter over lunch from teacher prompts parent response

The Kirksville School District is apologizing after a letter was sent home to one family questioning a students lunch.

That letter was sent home Tuesday afternoon to Dr. Justin Puckett and his wife. Puckett posted the letter to his Facebook page, saying it was written by his daughter's substitute teacher at the Primary School. According to the letter, cafeteria staff reported to the teacher that her lunch was not suitable.

The letter reads as follows: 'Dr. and Mrs. Puckett, The cafeteria reported to me that (student's name) today included four chocolate bars, a bag of marshmallows, Ritz crackers and a pickle. Please see that she packs a proper lunch tomorrow.' The letter then went on to request a parent signature, which was denied by the Puckett's.

However, the contents listed in the letter were not correct.

"Unfortunately, the letter didn't have what she had, correctly. She had four pieces of ham, a whole protein meat, she also had some pickles, which we admittedly cheat on pickles every once and awhile as a vegetable, because some fights just aren't worth having. She also had four marshmallows in a Ziploc bag and then she had three very small pieces of chocolate, of which she ate one for lunch and then she also gave her brother and another friend one at an after school program," Puckett said.

Dr. Puckett said he was mainly frustrated about the incident because he felt his parenting skills were being questioned.

"The issue isn't what happened at the Primary School and with my daughter because she is very independent and going to be completely unaffected by this. But what does bother me is that it just seems that we are constantly being inundated with the inability to be parents of our children," Puckett added.

Puckett goes on to say being a good parent and role model for his four children is his top priority, and wouldn't pack a lunch that was not suitable.

"I'm responsible for them and for the choices that they make and do whether it's at school or not. I have the ultimate responsibility to raise my children and I take that role very, very seriously and so maybe I took it bit more personally that there was some offense that maybe I wasn't doing a good job in that duty, something that is my number one job," Puckett said.

Puckett said he believes that the substitute teacher was doing what she thought was best to make sure all students are protected and safe while at school. He adds that Primary School Principal Ms. Tricia Reger called Wednesday afternoon to apologize for the incident.

"She was apologetic for the letter and assured me that they understood that our daughter was being fed appropriately and that there was a little bit of an overreach with the way that was handled," Puckett added.

Kirksville Schools Superintendent Dr. Damon Kizzire also released a statement to KTVO saying, 'We have as educators been directed to provide healthy and nutritious foods for so long that we had an individual take it upon themselves to send a note home to parents. This will not happen again and I am sorry for any inconvenience.'


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