Justin Puckett from Missouri was shocked to receive a letter sent by his daughter’s substitute teacher, informing him that he had given her a lunch that was too unhealthy. The thing is that Mr. Puckett happens to be a family doctor and believes he is qualified enough to decide what food is healthy for his child.
Upset at the accusation that he and his wife Kylene are not taking good care for their own daughter’s health, and annoyed by the school’s “big brother” approach, Dr. Puckett refused to sign the letter to acknowledge acceptance that the lunch was not up to scratch. Instead, he posted a photo of the orange note on Facebook. It read:
Dr. and Mrs. Puckett, The cafeteria reported to me that Alia’s lunch today included four chocolate bars, a bag of marshmallows, Ritz crackers and a pickle. Please see that she packs a proper lunch tomorrow. Parent signature required.
1. Dr. and Mrs. Puckett were annoyed to get this letter from the substitute teacher at Kirksville Primary School on Tuesday.
2. Dr. Justin Puckett and Kylene Puckett were handed the letter to them by their daughter Alia and asked to acknowledge the receipt of the note with their signature. They refused.
The Pucketts did respond to the letter, writing “Request declined” on the note. (Scroll down for the video.)
Dr. Puckett was most annoyed by the judgmental tone of the note, leaving no room for doubt that his parenting skills were not up to scratch. He told KTVO:
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.
Though Dr. Puckett has since been contacted by the school principal, Tricia Reger, who apologized to him, he still feels slighted.
3. Justin and Kylene are pictured here on a day out to Disney California Adventure with their four children, including Alia, (left).
4. Alia’s lunch on Tuesday did not conform with the dietary standards of the substitute at Kirksville Primary School.
Dr. Puckett told KTVO:
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.
Dr. Puckett added that, as the Medical Director of the Complete Family Medicine clinic in Kirksville, Missouri, he is quite aware of what constitutes a healthy lunch. He said:
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.
Kirksville Schools Superintendent Dr. Damon Kizzire, who released the following statement:
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.
Dr. Puckett said that he accepted the school’s apology and that of Dr. Kizzire.
5. The Puckett children are seen here (Alia is left) and all seem to be pictures of health.
6. Principal Tricia Reger phoned Dr. Puckett on Wednesday afternoon to say sorry for the substitute’s ‘overreach’ for demanding the Puckett’s pack their daughter a healthier lunch.
Here is the video report:
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