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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Preschool teacher calls kimchi in student’s lunchbox “disgusting” and “inappropriate”

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A Korean American parent was criticized by her son’s preschool teacher for packing kimchi and cheese for her child’s lunch.

The school claims that “the unpleasant smell of the lunch is disturbing other students,” while the parent argues that there is nothing wrong with packing her child’s favorite food.

The debate began when the parent (username-flowergardens0) posted a story on Reddit, a popular online community.

“I’m 34 years old and have a 5-year-old son in preschool,” the woman wrote in her post, titled “Am I a Bad Person for Packing an Inappropriate Lunch for My Child?”

The post wrote, “I received a call from the school and the teacher was very rude and asked me to stop packing ‘disgusting’ and ‘inappropriate’ lunch,” the woman wrote, adding, “I had a good relationship with the teacher and I was very upset when she said that.”

“I pack my child mostly celery with blue cheese and goat cheese, kimchi and spam, and sriracha-flavored Doritos,” the woman said. “I told the teacher, ‘It’s not my fault that other students are distracted and I’m not going to change what I pack my son for lunch for that reason,’ and ended the call.”

However, the school later emailed the parent about the lunchbox issue.

According to the woman, the school said in the email, “It is not appropriate to pack a lunch like that and send it to school.”

“I don’t want to write back, I want to maintain a good relationship with the teacher. I don’t know what to do,” the parent concluded.

The post now has more than 5,000 comments. According to Reddit, more than 94% of the comments agreed with the Korean American parent’s position.

“You should report this to the school principal immediately. That teacher is a racist and unfit to teach in a school (username-thatshygal717),” “Teachers don’t have the right to tell kids they can’t eat certain foods (Wall2846),” and “Why didn’t the teacher use this lunchbox issue as an opportunity for the kids to learn about diversity instead of just focusing on their discomfort (ambien)?” were among the comments.

Counterarguments were also found, such as “I’m Korean and I’m surprised they packed kimchi for lunch. My family loves kimchi, but it can be off-putting to people who aren’t used to the smell (Bunnies),” “If you look at the menu, it’s not just kimchi, it’s blue cheese and other foods that are known to stink, so you should be considerate of your surroundings and offer your child something else (SnooChickens),” and “The teacher is at fault for speaking rudely, but the parent needs to be more considerate of their surrounding (Nice_Option)”.

Currently, there are no specific food bans for schools in California. “Sometimes we will let parents know if there’s a student in the class with a severe peanut allergy, or we’ll give them a heads up with blueberries since kids tend to play around with those,” said Susan Lee, a teacher from the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). “I don’t know the details, but I think the parent should have been more considerate of the school’s situation and the teacher should have relayed the message more politely.”

Reddit has since blocked the comments on the post, and the parent’s account has been deleted. It’s unclear whether the woman’s post is reliable.