So, last night girlchild came home and was nearly in tears as she told me that she had to eat her snack (sugar snap peas, celery, and homemade hummus) out in the hall. I had some great conversations going on Facebook about this (I'll probably add the conversations here, as well, so others can read), but the common theme was that everyone else thought it was horrible that she was not allowed to eat her hummus at her desk with the rest of the kids. I did email the teacher about this, and I did try to give her the benefit of the doubt - I even mentioned that it could just be 9 year old exaggeration, but that I wanted to verify what had happened. The teacher emailed me back and confirmed all of girlchild's story - which made me livid. What teacher in their right mind would allow caramel dip for fruits and ranch dressing for vegetables but not allow hummus - ALL NATURAL HUMMUS, AT THAT - as a dip?! I'm completely flabbergasted by the whole thing. Her teacher even asked me not to send the hummus again and mentioned that the smell of the hummus was distracting the other kids from their school work. Really? The smell of garlic is distracting? *SMH* This is the most stupid argument I could think of to have with a school teacher. It's not like I'm wanting to send her to school with a Twinkie or a bag of Cheetos or something, you know? I'm sending her in with something she LOVES, is extremely healthy, and - hey! - is made from fruits and vegetables! The teacher tried to claim allergy issues - she mentioned that there were kids with nut allergies (peanut), egg allergies, and milk allergies. I'm very aware of what allergies are in the classroom and I'm extremely aware of making sure not to send girlchild in with ANY thing that might have peanuts - and that's how I've been since she started school. I, myself, have life-threatening allergies. The egg and dairy allergies in the classroom are only for those kids that ingest. Even the one child in her class that has a nut allergy isn't an airborn allergy (at this time). In fact, I've known the girl with the egg allergy for 3 years and I know her family, as well. When she comes to girlchild's birthday parties, I always make some eggless treats for her so she doesn't have to feel left out when the other kids are eating cake (her parents usually send her with a candy bar or something so she'll get a treat, but it's not the same, you know?). Anyway, I say all of this to make it clear that I know all about allergy issues. But I have to say, what totally rubbed me the wrong way was the fact that this teacher tried to use allergies as her excuse to not allow hummus, yet she allows other kids to have ranch dressing with their vegetables. Ummm... last I checked, most store-bought ranch dressings are made with eggs and dairy (usually a mayonnaise base and dehydrated dairy products), not to mention are full of sodium, preservatives, etc. So, yeah, the allergy thing doesn't fly with me. Not to mention, in my original email to the teacher, I specifically laid out all of the ingredients that I used in my hummus which were:
chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
fresh lemon juice
tahini (sesame seed butter, essentially)
I've decided, at this point, not to push the issue. I have, however, asked girlchild to keep an eye out and let me know if other kids are still allowed their "dips" for their fruit and veggies. If they are, then I will believe my child is being singled out and I will escalate the issue to the principal. It's bad enough that kids have made fun of her for liking healthy foods (one of her favorite snacks is raw spinach - she just likes to munch on it) and I will not have adults who should know better doing the same.