I informed the school that out family is vegan. We pack her lunch every day so I assumed this would always be a non-issue. Recently, her class was awarded a surprise pizza party. She is almost 6 so my husband and I let her decided if she wanted to participate. She said no so out best solution at the time was to make a pizza at home that she could take and eat with the rest of her class. That day, I received a call from the school. Kindergarteners, as curious as they are asked my daughter why she had "special" pizza. She said "I don't eat cows so I can't eat that"... fast forward to a dozen children screaming in horror at the thought of eating animals. I was told she couldn't talk about eating animals at school because it was upsetting other children who quote "don't know any better ".To say my husband was outraged would be an understatement. Now, 4 months into the school year, my daughter has been sent home 3 times, sent to the office on countless occasions. She is such a sweet non-judgmental girl and when she gets in trouble for "bullying other students" which hurt me so much I cried. We just don't know what to do at this point short of putting her in a private school. She swears she never brings it up but other kids talk to her about it. I understand a little why the school is having issue with this but at the same time I don't think I can ask her to change when I don't feel she's done anything wrong. Any advice would be much appreciated.
I don't know where you live, or what kind of school your daughter attends, but I assume that unless it is a faith school there must be some Jewish or Hindi children there who also have some restrictions on their diet? Perhaps you could have a meeting with your girl's teacher (as she would know her and know she isn't a 'bully' or whatever else the school is saying) and arrange a kind of food tasting day, or just a classroom chat where it is explained that some people have a different approach to food because of beliefs that they have. Lots of groups could be represented, such as Christians who eat only fish on fridays, those who fast, or have food allergies so have special bread etc. Then your daughter's eating practices could be introduced as part of that. The day/chat could explain that just because one person eats one way it doesn't mean anyone else has to, and that most children eat the same styles of food as their parents.
Hopefully something like that could breed some tolerance and interest in the children rather than fear, and by comparing the strength of your vegan beliefs with other more widespread belief systems (such as religions) then hopefully it would garner it some respect among the staff. It could also be a nice way for the teacher to approach their religious and social education elements. I'm English so my school system was different to yours, but I am a life long veggie and my parents organised a vegetarian stall for the 'World Food day' that we had annually, and just blythely told people that vegetarianism was just as much an identity as belonging to a country!
I'm so sorry that the school is being so unsupportive, and it's sad that a six year old has to be careful about what she says about food. I hope it all resolves itself
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