Teenage Girl Shamed at School For “Having Too Much Food in Her Lunchbox”
Once a child reaches high school age they are old enough to decide for themselves what to pack in their lunch boxes, right? They have the maturity to not only decide which foods to include, but also to understand the quantities they would need to get them through the day.
Apparently not, as one mum in the UK has discovered.
The concerned mum, posting as LemonDrizzleDisco, has taken to the popular parenting forum Mumsnet to ask the AIBU (Am I Being Unreasonable) discussion board for their opinions regarding an incident involving her teen daughter.
“Am I being unreasonable to think this is unfair?” No, lady, you are not.
This is not only unfair, it is harmful, grossly overstepping boundaries, and absolutely ridiculous! This is one of the healthiest lunches I have ever heard of. No processed foods, plenty of fresh and dried fruit, no salty or sugary foods, and certainly not too much of it. I would question the peanut butter but only for the allergy factor. If that school didn’t have a nut-free policy, it’s fair game.
Most commenters on the thread agreed that this was a healthy lunch and not something that should have been flagged and commented on.
shaming checking policy was initiated in a girls-only high school. The girls line up each morning, opening their lunchboxes to be scrutinised by their year advisor (form tutor in the UK). They monitor foods high in fats, sugars or salts, and publicly admonish the girls whose lunchboxes don’t stack up.
This practice couldn’t be more damaging to these teenage girls if they tried. It is understandable if they were only policing lollies and cakes and things, but they are deciding on the spot if the girl has brought too much food!
Why does some random person at the school get to decide that?? The lunchbox contents in question certainly aren’t what I would call too much food. My five-year-old takes more than that to school!
The concerned mum then revealed the clincher:
Oh hell no.
The poster asked others for their opinions on the matter, and then penned a note to the school:
Dear Mrs _
Unless you are able to provide the nutritional information of school dinners or an alternative to avocado, LittleLemon, who is vegan, will not be changing what she has for lunch. I would appreciate if you do not make comments on LittleLemons healthy lunch because telling a teenage girl that she has ‘too much’ lunch is far from healthy.
The mum then received a message, along with an apology, from her daughter’s teacher. The inspection policy was abandoned after five days by the school principal, who realised the damage the lunchbox police were causing.
Again, while it is understandable that schools want to promote healthy eating, this is not the answer. This sort of humiliation in the name of good health is akin to lining the girls up for a weigh in every morning, The Biggest Loser-style. And all the while the school is selling unhealthy school lunches themselves.
These aren’t preschoolers sneaking in a packet of Tiny Teddies, these are young women who are navigating their way into adulthood through society’s already suffocating expectations. They don’t need added pressure from the very people who are responsible for their wellbeing at school.
Source: Mumsnet, Google Images