07:15 GMT +319 October 2019
Listen Live
    A lunch box

    Uproar as French School Marks Non-Pork and Meat Eaters With Tags

    © Flickr / Alyss
    Get short URL

    Authorities in France have launched an investigation into claims that an elementary school used red and yellow tags to identify students forbidden from eating pork and meat, with critics slamming the initiative for bringing back memories of historical discrimination against Jewish people.

    Officials in the city of Auxerre opened the probe into the school's actions, after some parents complained that students were given neck strings with red and yellow plastic discs during lunchtimes, so workers could identify which students weren't allowed to eat pork and meat respectively.

    It's understood that students wore the tags for one day before the school scrapped the initiative on the back of complaints from some parents.

    Malika Ounes, a conservative member of the Auxerre city council, was among those highly critical of the school.

    "It's revolting. It brings back memories of dark times," she told French news website Creusot-Infos.com, in reference to measures undertaken in Nazi-occupied France that forced Jewish people to wear yellow stars on their clothes.

    Despite outrage from some parents and community members, others saw the scandal as a massively over-exaggerated issue.

    Auxerre mayor Guy Perez said the use of the tags was "unfortunate", while one Muslim mother of two boys at the school told broadcaster RTL that a lot of fuss was being made over a non-issue.

    "The yellow tag doesn't even correspond with the yellow star. I don't think there's a scandal here, just an error that doesn't require all this rebuke."

    Local media reported that Muslim and vegetarian students were among those told to wear the red and yellow tags, while there was no mention of Jewish children.

    The issue of offering pork and meat-free dishes in schools has been a divisive issue in France, with some right-wing politicians arguing that making such exceptions is an example of religion creeping into the public sphere.


    French Mayor in Trouble After Pushing to Ban Islam and Deport Muslims
    Jewish Man Beaten Up Outside Paris Synagogue
    France, UK Have Forty Times the Rate of Anti-Semitic Attacks Compared to US
    vegetarian, pork, uproar, Jews, meat, religion, school, scandal, identification, Europe, France
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik