A second-grade girl at a school in Arizona has repeatedly been served pork even though as a Muslim, eating it would violate her religious beliefs.
The child’s mother, identified only as Nancy, said the school was more than happy to accommodate the fact that the family is Muslim, but then in December of last year things changed. Her daughter was given a bacon cheeseburger and told:
“The lunch lady was like, ‘No, too bad — just pick it off.’ Picking it off doesn’t work because it’s in the hamburger.”
When the mother went to Holloway Elementary School to complain, she was told that no one could tell her daughter was Muslim merely by looking at her:
“The principal had said because she didn’t wear the traditional clothes and because she’s just a white girl that was going there, she didn’t fit that normal stereotype of being Muslim – so it wasn’t obvious for them to follow the guidelines for her.”
A spokeswoman for Amphitheater Unified School District said they aren’t required to accommodate special dietary needs based solely on religion, adding:
We encourage families with children with any special dietary needs to make sure they are educating their children about what to look for so they know what is acceptable and what they should avoid
The school district added that if a parent wants to make sure his or her child eats only certain food, they should send a meal from home. Nancy thinks that’s complete bullshit and also noted:
“I want my religion to matter to you guys. My daughter shouldn’t have to go to school and be fearful of what’s she’s eating.”
She most certainly shouldn’t. And this school district needs to remember that they’re supposed to serve all students, not just the ones who look like they fit their biased image of a young Muslim girl.
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