In school, you’d imagine that your children could take any of their favourite foods in to enjoy in their packed lunch, right?
Well, it seems this doesn’t always go down so well.
One mum took to Reddit, really upset because she found out that her six-year-old daughter had been separated from the rest of her peers at school when she was eating her lunch.
She claims she was being forced to sit in a completely separate room by herself because she was eating ‘smelly foods.’
The mum said she was disgusted at the behaviour of the teacher, and told how she’d reported them to the headteacher – but. she wasn’t sure if this had been the right move, so asked for some advice.
She wrote: “My daughter is six but has been remote until a few months ago so she hasn’t physically been in school for long. Recently she told me she didn’t want her packed lunches anymore and wanted to eat what the other kids were eating.
“She had been not wanting to eat what were her favourite foods and opting for asking for pizza more. I asked her why she didn’t want to eat her favourite foods anymore and she told me she wanted to be able to sit with the other students.
“I was shocked because I didn’t know she wasn’t sitting with the other students and she told me it was because her teacher made her sit in the other room by herself during lunch times because she brought ‘smelly foods.’
“To be clear growing up I was also targeted by teachers who wouldn’t let me bring shrimp or anything with garlic or onion because they hated the smell. So I try not to pack anything that could cause them to target my child like spam sushi or egg fried rice.
“I was really upset because she is half Chinese but she clearly looks Asian and I felt it was my childhood trauma happening to her.
“I called up her homeroom teacher for a meeting and the teacher said they didn’t make her sit in the other room to eat but my daughter told me to ask her best friend who confirmed for me that yes she had been.
“Another teacher confirmed her had seen her eating alone and her homeroom teacher switched stories that she had but it was because my daughter brought a persimmon to school and it was distracting the other kids because they thought she was eating a tomato and she didn’t want her distracting the other students by having ‘foreign’ food.
“She refused to believe it was inappropriate and said she didn’t see anything wrong with sending her to eat by herself. I had to go to the principal and take my daughter to another homeroom to finish up the school year because that teacher said it only happened once despite my daughter swearing up and down it happened every few days for weeks before she told me.”
Over 900 people flocked to insist that the mum would not be in the wrong for taking the situation further.
One said: “This is extremely inappropriate of the teacher and in my opinion racist. I’ve worked with kids before and at that age the only reason I can see for separating a child for meals is if they had a food that was an allergy danger to other children or vice versa… maybe?
“But this would definitely be addressed with the parents within 24 hours, so as to make sure that it didn’t have to happen a second time.”
Another fumed: “Any teacher making a little kid sit by herself during lunch is an a*e. what the hell.”
Some pointed out the fact that the teacher should not be discriminating against children for things like food choices.
A different user wrote: “The teacher shouldn’t even be teaching if they’re going to discriminate and punish a kid just because she doesn’t have ‘Western’ foods. This will traumatise the kid and make her feel embarrassed of her own ethnicity.”