A teacher was criticized after having pretended to have a young child, forcing them to eat their lunch alone after saying that the child “distracted” the other children by bringing “foreign” food to the canteen.
A mother took to Reddit to explain that she was furious with her daughter’s teacher, leading her to report her to the principal for singling out her child.
“My daughter is 6 years old and in 2nd grade but [has] only got kicked out a few months ago so she hasn’t physically been to school in a long time,” the woman wrote via Reddit. “Recently she told me she no longer wanted to her packed lunches and that she wanted to eat what the other children were eating. She didn’t want to eat her favorite foods and chose to ask for more pizza.”
When the mother asked her daughter why she no longer wanted to eat her favorite foods, she was shocked by the child’s response.
“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 that was because her teacher made her sit in the other room all alone at lunchtime because she brought ‘smelly food’.”
The mother noted that as a child herself she was also “targeted by teachers” who would not let her bring prawns or garlic or onion foods to school because they “hated the smell”.
She explained that she tried to protect her daughter from similar bullying, sharing that she doesn’t pack food “like spam, sushi, or egg fried rice.”
“I was really upset because she’s half Chinese, but she definitely looks Asian, and I felt that was my childhood trauma happening. [to] her,” the mother wrote, explaining that she called the teacher to tell her about the situation, but received a conflicting story.
“I called her head teacher for a meeting and the teacher said they didn’t make her sit in the other room to eat but my daughter said to ask her best friend who told me confirmed that yes, she had been. Another teacher confirmed [they] saw her eating alone and her homeroom teacher changed the story but that 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 that she didn’t want her to distract the other student by eating “foreign” food.
The mum added that the teacher ‘refused to believe it was inappropriate and said she saw nothing wrong with sending her to eat on her own’.
“I had to go to the principal and take my daughter to another main class to complete the school year because this teacher said this only happened once as my daughter was swearing up and down low that it happened every few days for weeks before she told me,” the Mom continued.
Meanwhile, the woman’s husband didn’t believe her daughter, but she doesn’t think he “gets it because he’s white.”
Users peppered the comments section with support for the mum, with many calling the teacher a racist.
“I would file a formal complaint with the manager. It’s racist and horrible!” one person wrote, while another commented, “The teacher shouldn’t even teach if he’s going to discriminate and punish a child just for not eating ‘Western’ foods. It will traumatize the child. child and make him feel embarrassed about his own ethnicity.”
“Even if it happened ‘just once’, it’s way too much. This kind of thing is hard on kids,” another person commented.
“Not only is eating with peers in informal times part of developmental growth and a teacher of young students should understand that,” added another, “this teacher is racist and unqualified.”