Respect Muslim Students’ Right to Abstain from Pork

Target: Marcel Berthomé, mayor of Saint-Seurin-sur-l’Isle

Goal: Take pork off the menu in schools that cannot otherwise afford to accommodate dietary restrictions.

Muslim parents in Saint-Seurin, France are furious with their mayor for declaring that their children will not be offered a non-pork lunch alternative in one of the town’s primary schools. Mayor Marcel Berthomé claims that this particular school does not have the money to offer an alternative every time pork is on the menu, forcing Muslim students to make do with side dishes on pork days. Muslim parents feel as if their children are being discriminated against, and their voices as tax-paying citizens are being ignored.

Rather than allow an already marginalized group of students feel further ostracized, it makes more sense to simply make every lunch offering pork-free. Using the money normally spent on pork-based lunches to buy different types of lunches — for instance, chicken, fish, or less costly vegetarian options — should not place any significant strain on the school’s budget, and would prevent the exclusion of students based on religious identity. Ask Mayor Berthomé to be respectful of religious diversity by keeping this school’s lunches pork-free.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mayor Berthomé,

In solidarity with Saint-Seurin’s Muslim parents, I am deeply disappointed by your decision to stop offering non-pork alternatives for their children’s school lunches. You have cited a tight budget as the reason for this adamant refusal to accommodate the school’s small population of Muslim students. If the school truly cannot afford to accommodate them by offering a pork-free alternative, leave pork off the menu entirely. This would ensure that every student will be able to have a balanced school lunch, without costing the school extra money.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Ishikawa Ken

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15 Comments

  1. Anne Moeller Anne Moeller says:

    Being a vegan I think that all schools should offer non meat lunches to all students no mater their religion. Anne Moeller

  2. Teresa Barquet says:

    Esta petición no es sólo por respeto a los musulmanes sino también a los vegetarianos y alérgicos…. es increíble que sólo ofrezcan una opción de comida sin considerar a los estudiantes

  3. Brenda Denno says:

    They are discriminating against Muslims. I agree with other commenters here that they could easily make their meals vegetarian or vegan. Nobody HAS to eat meat.

  4. I am ashamed of the school for not offering an alternative for the Muslim students to eat at lunch. As a Jew I can safely avoid pork and other meat as well since I am a vegetarian. Don’t the Muslim parents support the school through taxes and possibly tuition? If so, the school must be mandated to provide a suitable meal for all students.

  5. Either that or give these students an alternative so everybody is happy.

  6. Angela Rabon says:

    Many people avoid pork and other meat products. NOBODY should be discriminated against! ALL PEOPLE ARE EQUAL AND SHOULD BE TREATED AS SUCH. Always have alternative items for everything served. Not all people like the same things.

  7. Marie Gilman says:

    If anyone doesn’t like the menu they should just go without (as I do). No need for this petition. There are too many unnecessary campaigns.

  8. I don’t eat pork because I have an allergy to it, but I don’t go around trying to force everyone else to change their eating habits because of me. It’s up to me to make sure I have something else to eat when others around me are eating their pepperoni pizza or when the boss brings in lunch for the crew, and all that’s left are the ham sandwiches. As very few people have heard of a person having an allergy to a meat-based food, they often can’t accept it, so they certainly don’t accommodate me for it. So I take responsibility for myself, and make sure I bring my own food, whether it’s at work, or if it’s a social gathering, then I eat the salads and sides, or leave early to get myself something I can eat. You can’t expect everyone else around you to give up what is acceptable to them, just for you.

  9. Gen Lovyet Agustsson says:

    stop serving meat! just go vegan!

  10. Never understand why someone would eat pork, it resembles the closest to human flesh.

  11. Christine Jones says:

    Far be it from me to encourage the eating of pigs, but I can’t sign this. Small schools on tight budgets have enough problems. If it’s such a big deal they can go to a Muslim school, or eat salad and a side dish, or shock horror, do what working class folks have always done, bring their own lunch.

  12. Why should the majority be banned from eating pork just because of someones superstitious religous belief?

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