Parent fury as primary school bans cupcakes
A West Australian primary school been branded "un-Australian" over its "offensive" decision to ban cupcakes and lolly bags for birthdays.
In a message sent to parents of students at Arbor Grove Primary School in Ellenbrook, Perth, this week, mums and dads were told that while the school was "happy to celebrate" birthdays, "we must do so in the most inclusive, practical and appropriate way".
"Following concerns raised by members of our community, the School Executive have reviewed the school's position," the letter read.
"During our deliberations we have been mindful of the increasing number of students with food allergies and intolerance, the cultural diversity of the school and the beliefs and traditions of these cultures, and the Department's Health Food and Drink in Public Schools Policy."
As a result, Arbor Grove said it would be banning "cupcakes, lolly bags or other unhealthy options for students to share with their classmates" for birthdays from Monday.
"Should a student arrive with such items, teachers will no longer hand out items during school time, instead returning them with the student at the end of the day," the letter read.
The school said while it acknowledged its decree "may not be a universally popular decision" it would prevent several problems at the school.
It would "avoid the risk of a child suffering a potentially life threatening health issue", be "respectful to the culture diversity" of the school, as well as supporting the WA education department's police on "healthy food choices for students".
However not every parent saw it that way, blasting the decision as "incredibly offensive" after it was shared on the Arbor Grove's Parents and Citizens Association Facebook page.
News.com.au has contacted the school and the WA department of education for comment.
"Why didn't they ask the parents to vote? Out of a school over 500 students, let's say 125 are of cultural difference. What ever happened to majority rules. Man I'm pissed," one mum fumed.
"Absolutely disgusting. There are a lot more important issues this school should be concerned about & trying to fix NOT STOPPING OUR KIDS FROM BEING KIDS," one person commented.
"What an extremely un-Australian thing to do," another posted, while one mum added: "Don't even get me started … so it's OK to sell soft drinks at a school disco for fundraising but not OK to bring a cupcake to school for a birthday."
Meanwhile one parents suggested that students be allowed to bring "non-edible items" to celebrate their birthdays instead.
"Like balls, coloured pencils crazy straws, you get the idea?? This would mean that no one with allergies would be affected and no child would be given unhealthy food," she wrote.
"It would be a very sad day when a child is not allowed to celebrate their birthday at school."