Maybe it was because pork is said to be “the other white meat,” and “white” has come to have a bad rap. Or maybe — more likely — it was to appease families of Muslim students who attend the school, as some parents have theorized.
Whatever the reason, “a Tennessee elementary school banned students from eating ham sandwiches, BLT’s and anything else made with pork,” Fox News’s Todd Starnes reports, adding that the school “eventually lifted the ban after parents complained.”
Third grade teachers at Sunset Elementary School in Brentwood, Tenn. sent home an ‘Approved Snack List’ for the school year and it specifically banned anything that comes from a pig.
‘No meats containing pork,’ read the memorandum. ‘Starting Monday, August 12, 2013 your child must provide their [sic] own snack from the above approved snack list.
‘Only choose a food from the following list to bring into school for snack. No other food items are permitted.’
The list included raw veggies (sans dips), fresh fruit, crackers, pretzels, and popcorn. No pork rinds, though.
The district claims that the memorandum was sent out because of concerns over food allergies, but that doesn’t seem to square with the prohibition on fat, and especially pork fat. As one parent noted on Facebook, “I’ve never heard of a life-threatening pork allergy.”
In any case, the following day the ban was lifted. Williamson County Schools posted a message on its own Facebook page telling parents to ignore the rules:
Schools should only be offering suggested snack choices, and that information will be sent home only if your child is in a classroom where there is a food allergy. Any reference to not allowing pork products in school is incorrect. Please disregard.
The pork ban became a hot topic on Nashville’s talk radio stations. Many callers and several hosts speculated that the ban might have something to do Islamic dietary laws, which forbid consumption of pork.
It is possible that the ban was designed to comply with religious doctrine but not necessarily that of Islam. The purpose could have been to accommodate students of the Jewish faith, who also abjure pork. Right: When pigs fly.
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