“Chicken Nuggets” Teacher Breaks Down in Tears Under Questioning Before Resignation

(RAEFORD) – The pre-K teacher involved in the “chicken nuggets” incident in Hoke County changed her version of what happened after undergoing three separate interrogations. Margaret Maynor was brought to tears in the third session. She submitted her resignation soon after.

In a highly unusual move, the Hoke County School System released documents from the teacher’s personnel file purportedly showing why the pre-K instructor resigned.

Previous articles reported some students with homemade lunches were given trays of school food because their bag lunches didn’t meet federal nutrition standards. One girl didn’t touch her homemade lunch and just ate three school chicken nuggets.

When the girl’s parent complained, the teacher, Maynor, said there had been a state inspector at the school when the bag lunches were examined. State officials vehemently denied that, as did the local school officials. They shifted the focus to Maynor.

Among the personnel documents released by the school system is a written statement by Maynor to the principal. In it Maynor indicates the “Program Child Care Specialist with the Division of Child Development [and Early Education]” visited the school January 26.The statement indicates that was the same day the children were given cafeteria meals to supplement their homemade lunches. Maynor claims it was on January 31 that she received a complaint from the parent.

Maynor noted that on February 1 the local pre-K program director (Elizabeth Mitchell) told her to continue to supplement the bag lunches if they didn’t meet USDA guidelines.

The parent’s state representative, Rep. G.L. Pridgen (R-Robeson), began asking questions of school and state officials, and national attention on the story grew to a fever pitch.

Maynor was then put through three separate interviews by school and county officials. Transcripts of the first two sessions were not released but the third interrogation brought Maynor to tears.

Dr. Cheryl Benson, the district’s Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, accused Maynor of not telling the truth. Dr. Benson says a report (which was not released) shows the “chicken nuggets” incident happened on January 31 – not the 26th as Maynor claimed – and Maynor sent the children through the cafeteria line. Under continued questioning Maynor at first denied it, then said she didn’t remember.

A verbatim excerpt from the February 16 transcript:

Dr. Benson – You are not telling the truth and the report shows the child went through the line on January 31st. (Teacher still can’t remember) Are you saying this four year old child got up and went through the lunch line on her own? No, (blank) did not get up and go one her own! You told (blank) to go! Do you realize this four year old child went all day long with only 3 chicken nuggets to eat since breakfast?  And you still don’t remember. If you don’t remember what does that tell me about your knowledge in the classroom?

Teacher – When we sent the child through the line (blank) didn’t have what (blank) was supposed to have .

Dr. Benson – So you do remember!

Teacher – I don’t know what I was thinking when you asked. I was thinking about January 26th, the day Mrs. Ellerbe [state official] was here (tears and more tears).

Scrutiny continued to increase on the school officials and on February 28 Margaret Maynor submitted her resignation.

“It is with my deepest apology and sincere regret that I write this letter of resignation to Hoke County School. As of February 28, 2012, I am resigning from my position as a Teacher with the Hoke County School System.”

State and local officials are hoping the release of these documents will put the issue to rest. But legislation is being drafted and will be proposed in the spring session of the General Assembly to give parents more say over what their children should eat.

This article was posted in Education by Matt Willoughby on March 22, 2012 at 5:18 PM.

© 2011 The Civitas Institute. Visit us on the web at www.nccivitas.org.
This article can be found at https://www.nccivitas.org/2012/chicken-nuggets-teacher-breaks-down-in-tears-under-questioning-before-resignation/

Comments on this article

  • 1

    Cathy Mar 23, 2012 at 14:13

    She was only doing her job, its all the damn rules and regulations that have to be stopped. Its not about the kids getting to fat it’s about how the Agriculture department is in bed with the department of education. If it was about fat kids there wouldn’t be a rule that Kids in Nc grade school can only move around and be physical for so many minutes a week. If they play kick ball because they earned it they can not do gym class

  • 2

    Bernadette Mar 23, 2012 at 22:10

    It is sad that this little girl had so little to eat, but have some compassion for this teacher. Human beings make mistakes. Teachers have a million things to think about. I believe her when she says she does not remember. She was probably only trying to follow the order of these administrators that are now so self righteously scapegoating her, to take the light off of themselves.

  • 3

    stonedome Mar 24, 2012 at 0:22

    sorry, the little girl was intimidated by an adult teacher…these teachers vote for the arrogant people who make these rules! get the federal government out of our schools!

  • 4

    Freddd Mar 24, 2012 at 6:49

    Teacher abuses child. School system abuses teacher.
    Ain’t the ‘age of Obama’, grand?

  • 5

    BillBor Mar 24, 2012 at 7:00

    You know things are pretty screwed up when pre-K teachers tearfully resign necessarily for the cost of foolish, Leftwing, food zealotry. Maggie is a lardy nanny-statist. Perhaps someone from the USDA should monitor her dietary intake and decide what she eats.

  • 6

    Steve Rutledge
    Steve Rutledge Mar 24, 2012 at 8:17

    Look lets be honest, we all screwed up by voting Obama in office. We wanted so badly to right the wrongs of yesterday, however it has been clear for some time that we have all been taken advantage of. So what do we do about it? FIRST OF ALL WE DON’T VOTE DEMOCRAT IN NOVEMBER. Second, for my own sake it feels better to be honest and admit I was wrong. Try it, it is the only way to break that sense that you have been part of the lie. Third, I’m encouraging friends to actually vote conservative to teach a lesson to those that used our good intentions to take away our freedoms.

  • 7

    William Mar 24, 2012 at 8:34

    Hey Steve, YOU voted for obama, not me! Anf or the rest of you who say she’s just doing her job, that excuse went out at the Nuremberg trials.

  • 8

    ms liberty
    ms liberty Mar 24, 2012 at 9:04

    Well, I see the racists and the hate mongers are here in force today spewing the venom they have been told to repeat by Rush Limbaugh. The Nazis need to take their jackboots and goose-step back to their AM radios before the decent and tolerant citizens of this country rise up against THEM (it doesn’t look like Limbaugh has missed many meals). Can’t we all at least agree that the poor teacher was hounded from her job by racists after expressing her solidarity with all oppressed peoples of the planet. Why aren’t we discussing the War on Wemyn directed by Rush Limbaugh? SMASH FACISM!!!

  • 9

    scooter Mar 24, 2012 at 9:20

    @ms liberty……please, please point out EXACTLY where the “racism” and the “hate mongering” is on display here? Were you forced to watch “Gone With The Wind” as a child, against your wishes? Spike Lee claims he was forced to watch it and I can see the parallel between that and being forced to eat what you don’t want, except the eating scenario crosses all lines of gender and color. I’m not a violent person but if you try and get in my face you may experience the “smash’ you quickly refer to.

  • 10

    Zivjax Mar 24, 2012 at 9:23

    ms liberty, you need a take that leftist bigoted rhetoric and go somewhere. Nobody said anything racist. It’s childish to name-call like that.

    “But legislation is being drafted and will be proposed in the spring session of the General Assembly to give parents more say over what their children should eat.”

    What??!! How about the government just stay the heck out peoples’ personal relationships with their children.

  • 11

    AnnieMae Mar 24, 2012 at 9:59

    Come on folks, Ms Liberty was obviously writing satire. Read her comments again, no sane person would go off like that and no insane person could spell so creatively. I thought it was hilarious, she hit all the liberal talking points in such a short, concise paragraph. I counted 14 talking points, and that doesn’t count the repeats, which were necessary to complete the perfect satire.

  • 12

    LeChat Mar 24, 2012 at 10:35

    It is a fortunate thing that this woman did not do this to any member of my family. Fortunate for her, that is.
    Nothing gets one’s attention quite so fast as a “show cause” order from a local court.

  • 13

    blackfeather Mar 27, 2012 at 6:32

    …and where did the “nuggets” come from???? Can you spell “railroaded”??

  • 14

    What the…
    What the... Mar 27, 2012 at 12:28

    I guess Civitas REALLY wants us all to read about the teacher’s breakdown and firing, since ALL the ‘Featured Articles’ links point to the same thing!

    By the way – I am so disgusted by the political failings of the administrations in NC and Washington that I am advocating something really simple: if they are currently in office, vote against them. Period. Send them ALL home!

    The situations we find ourselves in are way beyond Democrat vs Republican, conservative vs liberal or blue vs red. If they all go home, there will be no cronies left in office to tell the incoming Freshman how things ‘really’ work, at the local, state and national levels. Let the newcomers be free to do what they campaigned to do for the people. This years’ Pope-paid legislators are a perfect example of what needs to be sent packing. And the ineffective legislators across the aisle from them need to go home to allow for new blood to assert themselves. It’s time, People: send them all home!

  • 15

    Civitas Mar 27, 2012 at 16:55

    @What the…
    Thanks for pointing that out – those links are fixed now!

  • 16

    Dennis Mar 28, 2012 at 7:52

    Just when was it that parents lost their natural rights to decide what their children eat? And just where in the Constitution can it be found that the government can do that. It’s time for real change but that won’t come until the voters learn that just because a politician says something to get elected dosen’t mean they will do it. Vote for politicians who have a history of supporting and defending the Constitution and our natural rights.

  • 17

    Rattlerjake Mar 28, 2012 at 9:40

    Steve, I have to totally agree with William. You voted for Obuthead, NOT ME or any other intelligent person, meaning you didn’t look into who you were voting for you simply listened to the BS. As for the teacher, she fits the profile of most government educators, that she can manipulate children instead of educating, and in most cases do so with impunity. We need or education system privatized, as well as removing all government funding. And parents need to be taxed additionally based on the number of children they have!

  • 18

    Janette Mar 28, 2012 at 21:34

    I like to say that when we took Home Economics and Vocational classes out of the school system we took away the ability for a person to succeed. Computers do not teach how to balance you checkbook, how to can, cook, and eat decent food. Students do not get the learning they need to succeed in life, make a living, and have a decent living. Parents were criticized on discipline issues, they were criticized on working children in the fields at young ages, and they were criticized on how they talked to their children. This junk teaching started in the 80’s full force, technology was going to change everyone’s life, and that was all the children needed. Now they (government) is revved up again on the issue that the “government needs to partner” with the parents and show (force) the parent(s) into the government way of thinking. Parents you are about to lose your children to the government if you do not stand up with force to stop the nonsense. Nonsense? Hum! Maybe government takeover of you and your children’s personal lives is a better work. Worse yet, the lunchrooms have no REAL food to offer the children because they do not cook in them anymore. The food is “heat and eat” and most of the vitamins are gone anyway. When lunchrooms start cooking real meals, then I might look their way but until they cook, I don’t listen.

  • 19

    Greg lovejoy
    Greg lovejoy Mar 28, 2012 at 21:52

    I think the teacher did what she was told to do. Then the mess got too hot, and the school administration needed a scapegoat. The school system needs the money the DC dangles in front of them, so the higher ups in the county put in place a policy designed to insure compliance with DC. Another case of the little guy getting the ax.

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