Education

Tennessee elementary school lifts fatwa against pork after parents complain

Parents sending their third-grade children back to one Tennessee elementary this school year were greeted with a blanket ban on delicious snacks made from  anything originating from a pig.

Sunset Elementary School in Brentwood, Tenn. rescinded the ban on pork just one day after it went into effect because parents complained, reports Fox News Radio.

Officials from Williamson County Schools posted a message on the school district’s Facebook page advising parents to pay no attention to the edict against pork.

“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,” the suburban Nashville district’s Facebook post said. “Any reference to not allowing pork products in school is incorrect. Please disregard.”

The withdrawal of the pork ban did not keep parents and other locals from speculating that the prohibition on pork had been an attempt to defer to the sensibilities of unidentified Muslim students.

It’s not clear if there are any Muslims students in the third grade at Sunset Elementary School, or if pork offends them. At the same time, it’s also not clear if any third-graders at Sunset Elementary have an exotic pork allergy.

Whatever the case, the original memo sent home to parents could not have been more clear, menacing or grammatically revolting.

“Sunset School’s staff is attempting to make school parties and snacks as safe as possible for all our students including our student’s [sic] that [sic] have a Severe Food Allergy,” reads the “Third Grade Approved Snack List for 2013-14.”

“Starting Monday, August 12, 2013 your child must provide their own snack from the above approved snack list,” the memo parents says. Those words are bold, underlined and in larger font.

“No OTHER FOOD ITEMS ARE PERMITTED,” it also says, lest parents thought they could ignore this fatwa or something.

The approved snack list contains the usual suspects: fresh fruits and raw vegetables, for example, pretzels (but only Rold Gold brand). The list also allows students to bring “fresh deli Lunch meat and/or cheeses” but it expressly says: “no meats containing pork.”

Some parents immediately went on the offensive.

“I’ve never heard of a life-threatening pork allergy,” one parent mused on Facebook, according to Fox News Radio.

Local talk radio stars also jumped into the fray on the side of the skeptical parents.

“Typical list for a Madrassa,” Nashville radio personality Michael DelGiorno quipped on his Facebook page.

“Is this school system trying to satisfy a religion?” one of DelGiorno’s listeners then asked. “I see a big red flag here.”

Pork allergies are rare but they do exist. According to NBC News, in very rare instances, people who are allergic to cats can also suffer mild to severe allergic reactions if they eat pork. This phenomenon is known as the dreaded pork-cat syndrome. The Daily Caller is not making that up.

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