This mom has an issue with a teacher at her 5-year-old son’s preschool. A few hours after picking him up from school one day, she received a phone call from his teacher. The mom says the teacher was very unkind. In an “extremely rude and annoyed tone,” she told the mother to stop packing her son “disgusting and inappropriate” lunches.
The mom was absolutely appalled when the teacher said this to her. Before this incident, they had a very friendly relationship. The teacher says the lunches she is packing for her son are “very distracting for the other students and have an unpleasant odor.” She told the teacher that she understood her concerns and that the lunches are not the healthiest, but they are according to her son’s preferences.
The usual lunch the mom sends with her son to school is small celery sticks with blue cheese, goat cheese, kimchi, spam, and Doritos marinated in Sriracha sauce. They are Korean, so her son loves spam and kimchi. She also says she puts only a few chips in his bag but needs a snack he likes.
The mom told the teacher that although she appreciates her concerns, she isn’t going to drastically change her son’s lunches. She also said it wasn’t her fault that the other students were distracted by his meal. She ended the call by saying that it’s important that her son enjoy his lunches, so she will pack what he likes to eat.
An hour after the phone call ended, the teacher sent a follow-up email telling the mom that her response was unacceptable and that his lunches were “just too inappropriate to be sent to school any longer.”
The mom hasn’t responded to the teacher yet and is reaching out to the online community for advice. Should she change her son’s lunches to appease this teacher or stand her ground?
Many readers took the mom’s side of this disagreement and even considered the teacher to be acting racist.
“Report her to the principal. Her comments regarding your son’s food are “disgusting” and “have an unpleasant tone,” aka cough cough racist tone. She’s too inappropriate to be teaching at the school any longer.”
“Exactly. Your son’s food is perfectly normal for a 5-year-old. Your family’s food is normal. The teacher is TA for not recognizing that.”
“Kimchi is delicious, healthy, and not messy at all. It also really doesn’t smell that bad. I eat it almost every day. What the teacher said is racist and culturally insensitive. Kimchi isn’t going to hurt anyone.”
“Doesn’t smell any worse than sauerkraut, you know, but that’s white people’s food.”
Others didn’t think this needed to be made into a racist incident.
“Maybe because we each have our own experiences as individuals, and that’s just not something you experienced. Why are you trying to make this a race thing? Sending a child to school with blue cheese, goat cheese, kimchi, and sriracha marinated Doritos is bound to turn some heads.”
Some agree that the foods the mom sends tend to have a powerful smell.
“Seriously, I love kimchi and blue cheese, but both can easily have a powerful smell. Not saying the teacher wasn’t coming from a potentially racial angle or not in the wrong, but let’s not act like kimchi can’t have a powerful smell!”
“No way I’d be able to be near those items. I’m super sensitive to scents. If people enjoy eating them, more power to them, but it can be like taking fish to work to eat…they can be hard scents to be around.”
What do you think? Should this mom change her son’s lunches to something with less odor even though he likes eating what she currently packs? Is the teacher being insensitive to their culture?
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