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.
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.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ishikawa Ken