A father’s heated reaction to his daughter’s school over regulating the contents of her lunch box has struck a chord with parents online.
School meals have long been an area of tension between parents and educators. Reports over several years in the US show that students from low-income families can be publicly “shamed” of outstanding school meal debts, for example by stamping on their hands or arms, throwing their food in the trash, or offering them a cold portion of a meal instead of a hot one lunch
During the COVID-19 pandemic, child hunger increased in the United States as schools closed and children who depended on school meals were left stranded. After schools reopened, they struggled with depleted food supplies and cafeteria staffing shortages due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic.
In addition to these hurdles, many parents are frustrated that their children’s lunch boxes are being regulated by school staff. Ross Hunt, who runs a wax melting shop in Wales, UK, has gone viral for his heated reaction to his daughter’s school.
Hunt shared his story on May 27 in a TikTok video that has been viewed over 445,000 times. He explained that his daughter Isabelle was shamed by a canteen worker for the “unhealthy” snacks in her lunch box.
“‘Oh don’t eat that, eat your sandwich, you shouldn’t have that,'” quoted Hunt, posing as an employee.
Dad told me too news week that the staff member instructs the students to eat their food in a specific order. “All we want is for our daughter to eat in the order she wants,” he said.
In his video, Hunt called the regulations “fucking irritating” and said they “put Isabelle off taking her lunch with her.”
He also pointed out the hypocrisy of the school, which itself gave out candy to students. “It’s okay if you eat school kids’ chocolate cake, but if you put one in their lunch box, they’re like, ‘Oh no, you shouldn’t have that.'”
In response, Hunt put a label on the inside of his daughter’s lunch box.
“Welcome to Isabelle’s lunch box,” read the large printed message. “We know the contents of this box and are happy that Isabelle eats what she wants.”
Hunt said he was tempted to “ram it full of candy” but settled for a bag of Rainbow Drops candy wrapped along with fruit.
“Stop telling kids what to eat and what not to eat and let the damn parents decide,” he concluded his tirade.
In a follow-up video with 678,000 views, Hunt showed off the contents of the lunch box his daughter brought home. Her candy was untouched, he said, because she wasn’t allowed to eat them unless she had her carrots first. But the carrots also remained untouched, as he showed.
“Those are the carrots. She didn’t want to eat them because they fell on the floor. What should she do?” he asked.
“She ate her sandwich,” he added. “For reference, this sandwich would have had more sugar than those Rainbow Drops. That’s six grams of Rainbow Drops. Chill out.”
Hunt said Isabelle ate a few bites of her apple, but her chips, pears and chocolate eggs were all left uneaten because she “didn’t have time.”
“Of course she got into the car and was hungry straight away,” scolded her father.
Hunt received a wave of empathy from parents who said they were angry at the same rules at their children’s schools.
“I was shocked when this happened at my son’s daycare,” one parent wrote. “It makes me angry. I WRAPPED IT. And what if the food is all we got off the board?”
“It’s a nightmare,” agreed another. “They advertise healthy eating, but my kid comes home and says he ate pizza and fries and some cake, so which of these is healthy?”
A third viewer wrote: “This is literally killing me! Children have their own mind and can choose what they want to eat! They obviously approved everything in there!”
hunt told news week The staff had yet to respond to his lunch box note.
“We will speak to the school on Monday,” he said. “We hope we don’t have to escalate it any further.”
https://www.newsweek.com/dad-sends-school-fiery-note-after-daughter-shamed-unhealthy-lunch-1712629 Dad sends school fiery message after daughter ‘shamed’ over ‘unhealthy’ lunch