Hoke County Schools Assistant Superintendent Bob Barnes is now telling the media a state inspector was at West Hoke Elementary School when some children’s home made lunches were inspected and supplemented with school meals. Barnes is quoted by the Burlington Times News as saying an “agent” from the state Division of Childhood Development and Early Education was at the school January 30th and examined lunches brought from home by students in a pre-K program. Barnes claims that “agent” found a girl’s lunch did not meet USDA meal standards. It was then the girl was given a school lunch with chicken nuggets. She ate a few nuggets and didn’t touch her turkey and cheese sandwich brought from home.
If that account is correct then it raises serious questions about statements from the Director of the Division of Child Development and Early Education, Deborah Cassidy. Her division released a statement not longer after the incident claiming no division representative was at West Hoke Elementay that day. Director Cassidy repeated that claim in a phone conversation with Rep. G.L. Pridgen (R-Robeson), who represents Hoke County. She told Pridgen division staff was there the previous Thursday, January 26th talking to school leaders about lunch standards. Cassidy and a staff repeatedly told Pridgen they were not at the school Monday, January 30th.
So the blame game continues to go round and round.