ATTLEBORO (CBS) – As many as two dozen children at the Coelho Middle School were denied lunch Tuesday because they couldn’t pay for it.

In some cases, students who picked up their food in the cafeteria line were told to throw it away because they didn’t have enough money left on their meal card accounts.

Parents said some of the kids were in tears.

“I don’t understand how they could do that to a child,” said Misti Blessing, the parent of an 11-year-old student at the school.

The decision to deny lunch was made by an employee of Whitson’s, the school system’s lunch provider.

“I apologized to the students on behalf of Whitson’s for their irresponsible mistake,” school Principal Andrew Boles said.

The food service company’s on-site director has been put on administrative leave by the school superintendent, who said there’s no way this should have happened.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens contributed to this report.

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