A group of parents are furious after a school confiscated their children's snacks for not being healthy enough.
The Star reports that mother Elaina Daoust became "infuriated" when her son, a junior kindergartner at Romeo Dallaire Public School, was told he was not allowed to eat a piece of banana bread he had brought to school as a snack because it contained chocolate chips.
He was told to eat grapes instead of the banana bread.
“He came home with a chart [listing healthy snack ideas] and told me he and the teacher talked about it and healthy choices. She also sent a note to me. I was really, really, really mad for several reasons,” Daoust says.
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Daoust claims her son is a picky eater, and that she bought him the small banana bread because they were labeled as being nut-free and safe for school children.
“It’s not like he had chips or a chocolate bar,” Daoust says,
Officials with the Durham Catholic District School Board say there is a difference between lessons on healthy eating, and telling a child what he or she can and cannot eat for lunch.
“There is nowhere in our policy or procedures that says our staff is allowed to take food away from a student,” said James MacKinnon, a teaching and learning consultant with the DCDSB.
MacKinnon added that while class discussions about healthy eating are important, students should not be singled out by teachers.
“It’s up to students to share that information with their parents, we’re educating and promoting but not dealing with it at snack time,” he notes.
Superintendent Luigia Ayotte did issue the following statement: "We understand there may have been some issues with regard to certain foods students bring for snacks and lunches, but food preferences and choice remain with students and parents unless they pose an adverse allergic danger to other students."
The Associated Press reports that this is an ongoing problem in the area, with parent Janae Brangman complaining that her child’s lunch was confiscated and replaced with a piece of fruit.
Brangman claims she felt “it was more unhealthy for a child not to eat at all, than to eat a granola bar with chocolate.”