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About DD's school lunch?

(63 Posts)
VinceNoirsHair Tue 28-Jan-20 16:00:28

Just interested in others's opinions and what they would do in these circumstances.

My daughter is 12 and a vegetarian. For context, nobody else in the family is but DD feels very strongly about about animals and any kind of mistreatment of them and has been vegetarian for the last year.

Apparently at lunch today at school, she's asked for a vegetarian wrap and they've given her one containing pork instead. She hasn't realised until she's taken a bit out of it and discovered it contained meat. She went back to the snack bar and they gave her the vegetarian one which she didn't have to pay for but she then said one of the dinner ladies told her colleague and they laughed about it.

So my dilemma is this. I understand it was a mistake. I'm not that parent who goes marching into school at every perceived slight and neither will I be doing my best 'sad face' for the Daily Mail. But she's really upset about it and it's pissed me off a bit that the dinner ladies were laughing about it. Should I complain to the school or not?

NoMorePoliticsPlease Tue 28-Jan-20 16:02:00

they may have been laughing at something else. unless you were there you cant know

Urkiddingright Tue 28-Jan-20 16:02:55

Would they be laughing in a similar fashion if they had given a Muslim or Jew pork? Highly unprofessional. I would complain personally but it’s your call. They should give pupils exactly what they ask for, imagine if they gave a child something they were allergic to!

AryaStarkWolf Tue 28-Jan-20 16:02:58

Yeah I would

VinceNoirsHair Tue 28-Jan-20 16:05:21

@Urkiddingright yes, that was my thought. I suppose because DD herself has chosen not to eat meat it's sort of seen as 'lesser', IYSWIM. And the allergy thing is a good point.

thehorseandhisboy Tue 28-Jan-20 16:06:46

If dd feels strongly about being a vegetarian, I think I would encourage her to feedback concerns herself tbh.

She could ask the school office or her tutor about how to go about this - there might be a 'feedback box' somewhere in the school, or she could write to the facilities manager.

bestsquirrelinthewholehole Tue 28-Jan-20 16:07:31

Personally I wouldn't. She made them aware of the mistake, they changed the wrap over. Without sounding like your daughter is making things up. Do you know for sure that the lunch ladies were in fact laughing at your daughter and not something completely unrelated.
If however they refused to swap the wrap for example. I don't see there is really any grounds for a complaint.

VinceNoirsHair Tue 28-Jan-20 16:12:01

Obviously I wasn't there so I don't know for certain if they were laughing at her. I can only go on what she's said.

And squirrel, that would be my reaction to being given the wrong sandwich in any other circumstance but DD feels very strongly about not eating any sort of meat and is quite upset about this. I suppose if you aren't a vegetarian, it's hard to understand (which as I've said, I'm not).

NearlyGranny Tue 28-Jan-20 16:17:58

I think at 10 your DD can be encouraged to confront this behaviour herself, especially of she's spoken to her class teacher or a trusted adult in school first about her concerns.

Then if it happens again, she can say, "If you are laughing at my choice to be a vegetarian, that is not appropriate," which is polite and also gives the dinner ladies space to climb down without loss of face and decide not to taunt her in future!

This is a great chance for her to assert herself and grow confident of her voice and rights.

FizzyIce Tue 28-Jan-20 16:23:11

If they were laughing at her then that’s not on.
I’d say something but would choose my words carefully just Incase it was a misunderstanding

Savingshoes Tue 28-Jan-20 16:35:45

No she's old enough to challenge staff herself, she just needs reminding that you're right behind her.
Give her some direction and guidance and assist her with raising the concern with the school canteen herself.
Teaching skills that she can use when you're not with her is the something that all children need.

JustHarriet Tue 28-Jan-20 16:41:39

Your daughter handled herself well. She spoke up for herself and got the solution she wanted, that's great! In life people will mock assertive people, they may not know how to deal with it. Possibly a young woman speaking up was intimidating or a shock for these adults? If she was my daughter I'd point out to her that she responded to the situation well and can be proud of herself. I'd suggest she ignore that kind of behaviour, responding gives it more attention than it's worth. And who knows, your daughter's assertiveness may have a positive impact on them after all; many of us could all do with feeling more empowered in life.

PlanetoftheWood Tue 28-Jan-20 16:46:01

I am a vegetarian and have been for 20 years and couldn't get excited about this. They made a mistake, she noticed before she ate it and they swapped it. Who knows what they were laughing at. What do you expect them to do if you complain?

VinceNoirsHair Tue 28-Jan-20 16:53:10

@PlanetoftheWood no, she actually took a bite before she realised. I think if she'd noticed before, neither of us would care.

@JustHarriet thank you, that's lovely.

FWIW, I don't think I will complain but thanks to all who've replied so far. People saying that she should stand up for herself are maybe right but it's sometimes difficult to assert yourself in these situations but I think she's probably on the right track.

VinceNoirsHair Tue 28-Jan-20 16:55:18

What do you expect them to do if you complain?

Maybe make sure they're giving out the correct stuff? If DD couldn't eat meat for religious reasons, I'm sure some of the replies might be different.

And as someone said upthread, what about if she'd been allergic to something in it?

PlanetoftheWood Tue 28-Jan-20 16:56:31

Ah - you said 'a bit' so I thought you meant she'd picked up a bit with her fingers to look at it and saw it was meat. Clearly she should have said something at the time and she did, so she's done exactly the right thing. I'm just not sure her mother making a complaint about it teachers her the right way about how the world works.

VinceNoirsHair Tue 28-Jan-20 16:57:49

Yes, sorry. It should have said 'bite'.

MaxAmount Tue 28-Jan-20 17:02:59

They'll deny it and say they were laughing at something else and you will get nowhere.

Sparkle567 Tue 28-Jan-20 17:10:29

It was an accident. Accidents happen. She got a new wrap. I’d leave it.

Wheresthesandman Tue 28-Jan-20 17:10:36

*Maybe make sure they're giving out the correct stuff? If DD couldn't eat meat for religious reasons, I'm sure some of the replies might be different.

And as someone said upthread, what about if she'd been allergic to something in it?*

I thought your issue was more that they were laughing at her, not that they accidentally gave her the wrong sandwich? I imagine it was a genuine mistake (I’ve only ever met one person who is nasty enough to think it’s amusing to try and give vegetarians meat products), but you’re correct that they need to pay more attention to their labelling. So you could send a very polite email to the school.

I wouldn’t mention them laughing to be honest. They might not have been (hopefully they weren’t) and if they were then they’ll just deny it because nobody wants to sound like that much of a twat, even if they are hmm

itsgettingweird Tue 28-Jan-20 17:11:38

They could have been laughing at something else.

They could have been laughing at her.

They could also do the same to someone who doesn't eat pork for religious reasons.

I think I'd get your dd to speak to catering manager or her HOY herself. Explain why she was upset and potential if it happens again.

GrannyBags Tue 28-Jan-20 17:14:04

I wouldn’t complain as much but I would mention it, and the fact that she felt they were laughing about it. Might just be an isolated mistake and they might have been laughing about something else but also might be a more common issue that staff need to be aware of - before someone else is ‘that’ parent and comes in demanding blood!

GrannyBags Tue 28-Jan-20 17:14:34

As such, not as much

fairlyplump Tue 28-Jan-20 17:16:43

accidents do happen, there is not always a complaint to be made. A laugh or an ooops chuckle, really no big deal

Norma27 Tue 28-Jan-20 17:20:18

I've been veggie about 40 years. Mistakes do happen but if I have bitten into meat then I tend to be more upset than if I had noticed beforehand. If the staff were laughing about it too I would go nuclear on them.

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