DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A Detroit school stopped serving lunch to sixth- through eighth-graders following food fights, attracting complaints that led officials to reverse the decision.

Students at Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary-Middle School weren’t served hot lunch on Monday, according to a report by the Detroit News.

According to a notice to parents signed by Principal Antoinette Pearson, served lunch was cut “due to irresponsible behavior that has resulted in numerous food fights.”

“How can you punish a child by not feeding them?” said Christine Houston, whose grandchildren attend the school. “What are we teaching them?”

The notice told parents that the students would be expected to bring their own food for lunch.

Keitha Gomez, who left her mail carrier job Monday to buy fast food for her daughter’s lunch, said: “It was very inconvenient.”

School officials changed their minds about the food lock-out, however, after receiving a number of complaints. Students are expected to have meals served when they return to school on Wednesday.

The school is part of the Educational Achievement Authority, a district that includes the state’s worst-performing schools. Under a federal program, all EAA students are expected to be provided free breakfast, lunch and dinner, regardless of income.

EAA Chancellor John Covington told the Detroit News he spoke with Pearson on Monday about the district’s policies.

“We do not withhold food from children as a result of their misbehavior,” said Covington.

TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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