Student barred over sandwich bag
MONTREAL – A couple near Montreal is seeing red over a local school’s green policy that saw their son barred from a contest for having a Ziploc bag in his lunchbox.
Isabel Theoret and her husband, Marc-Andre Lanciault, say their six-year-old son Felix was disqualified from a competition in his kindergarten class in suburban Laval after a teacher spotted his sandwich wrapping.
“My girlfriend was trying to make him his lunch when (Felix) screamed ‘No, no Ziploc!’ ” Lanciault told QMI Agency this week. “When we asked why, he explained that he had been excluded from a contest to win a stuffed animal recently because his sandwich was in a bag and not in a Tupperware container.”
Lanciault said the school rules smacked of “environmental dogmatism.”
“I’m not upset that my son didn’t win a stuffed animal, far from it,” said Lanciault. “It’s that we’re brainwashed around environmental issues. I’m sure the teacher had good intentions but it’s as if we have stopped thinking.”
The couple says the plastic bag policy ostracizes children and makes them feel guilty for their parents’ actions.
“We’re talking about six-year-old kids,” said Lanciault. “What have they learned from this (policy)? They don’t remember the environmental message. What they remember is that … they could not win something because of it, so it’s wrong.”
The local school board has not responded to interview requests.
The boy’s ordeal struck a chord in the online community after his parents posted to Twitter, Facebook and a blog.
“It’s crazy,” said Lanciault. “I would say that 80% of people say they agree with me and 20% don’t agree.”
Among the dissenting commentators was one man who said Felix’s parents are part of the problem.
“I see tons of Ziplocs in my street (and) on my lawn,” said the user, named Jerome. “There’s always someone throwing them out. Is it so hard to buy a reusable container that’s washed and kept for years?”
Lanciault counters that environmentalism must sometimes give way to pragmatism.
“I have three kids and I make three lunches a day,” he said. “There’s plenty of Tupperware. It has to be washed, so sometimes I use a Ziploc. Should the children be punished for that?”