A mother has sparked a fierce online debate after revealing that her son’s pre-school complained about his ‘disgusting and inappropriate’ packed lunches.
The 34-year-old, who is understood to be US-based, shared her concerns on the Am I The A******e (AITA) subreddit, explaining that she often treats her five-year-old to kimchi and Spam – which reflects their Korean heritage.
She also gives him small celery sticks with blue cheese and goat cheese, as well as ‘spicy Doritos marinated in Sriracha’.
Concerned users claimed that the teacher was being insensitive and racist, as more than 5,600 comments chimed into the post.
However, some other people of Korean heritage defended the teacher and said that they would not put kimchi in a packed lunch either because of the strong odor.
One mother sparked fierce online debate when she revealed that her son’s pre-school complained of his ‘disgusting and inappropriate’ packed lunches. Stock image used
‘A few hours after I picked him up from school today, I got a phone call from his teacher,’ the mother explained.
The frustrated parent also hit out at the teacher’s hostile tone while speaking to her.
‘She made absolutely no effort to sound kind when she, in an extremely rude and annoyed tone, told me to stop packing my son such “disgusting and inappropriate” lunches.
‘I felt absolutely appalled when she said this, as me and the teacher have, up until now, always maintained a very friendly relationship.
‘She added that the lunches I’m packing my son are “very distracting for the other students and have an unpleasant odor”.
‘I told her that I understand her concerns, as the lunches I pack are definitely not the healthiest, but the lunches are according to my son’s preferences.’
The parent ended the call by saying that while she ‘very much appreciated her worries’, her child’s lunches were going to stay the same.
‘It is very important to me what my son enjoys, and I want him to like my lunches,’ she added.
The post continued to explain that this wasn’t the end of the saga – because the teacher then emailed the mother about her ‘unacceptable’ response, saying her son’s lunches are ‘just too inappropriate’ for school.
Concerned users expressed that the teacher was being insensitive and racist towards Asian cuisine, as more than 5,600 comments chimed into the post
‘I haven’t responded yet and don’t want to,’ she said. ‘I want to maintain a healthy relationship with my son’s teachers. I am confused as to what to do?’
She was flooded with comments of support as others hit out the ‘racist’ teacher and encouraged the mother to speak to the teacher’s superiors.
‘Your son’s food is perfectly normal for a five-year-old,’ one reassured. ‘Your family’s food is normal. The teacher is the a*****e for not recognizing that.’
‘You should ask the principal if you need to escalate the issue to the school board, or if she’ll deal with the teacher herself,’ another suggested. ‘You deserve an answer.
However, not everyone was so supportive, as other parents of Korean heritage said they would never send their child to school with certain dishes
‘Teacher’s allowed to think the food is gross, that’s her personal opinion. But in 2023 she had ought to keep her stupid opinions to herself.’
They also stressed that the situation puts her son at risk of bullying.
‘The other thing that irritates me about this is, if (and still a big “if!”) the other kids are really “distracted” by the food (read: bullying your kid about the food), this teacher isn’t going to do a good job defending your son and teaching these kids to accept differences,’ they added.
‘Instead she’s likely to join in the bullying herself. Huge bad apple racist vibes from this teacher.’
However, not everyone was so supportive, because other parents of Korean heritage said they would never send their child to school with certain dishes.
One insisted that they would not transport kimchi – a traditional side made of salted and seasoned fermented vegetables – in their car ‘with double ziplocked gallon sized bags’ because of the strong odor.
The comment suggested making other foods from their culture, such as pickle gimbap – a type of seaweed rice roll.