Honolulu, HI – A teacher’s homemade lunch may get her fired, even at the expense of her health.
Carissa Lee O’Connell is (or possibly was by now) a teacher’s aide at a Honolulu preschool and may lose her job over her homemade lunches. Her husband started preparing her organic lunches months ago to help her nasal allergies, which improved.
But the problem is, apparently, that she consumed her lunch regularly in front of students, which the school is none too happy about. They verbally warned her in April and put another in writing recently which explained that she would be fired if she continued to eat in front of kids.
O’Connell is allowed to eat her homemade lunch during a break or after kids have a nap, but lunch time has a specific purpose: To provide a family-like setting where teachers take questions about the food provided.
In a warning letter, the policy is explained in a bit more detail: “Staff who choose not to eat the meals provided, may eat their own food during their break or after the meal service for the children is completed.”
But O’Connell says that only leaves her ten minutes to scarf down her organic grub, and that just isn’t enough.
“Definitely upsetting because I really enjoy being with the kids, having fun and seeing them every day,” she said. “They’re making me eat my lunch away from everybody else just because my director feels uncomfortable about the situation.”
Her husband also believes that she is being unfairly discriminated against.
“So in other words, her tax dollars can go into a program that (children) are being fed with, but she can be ostracized for eating a certain way to maintain her health,” he said. “She’s got a choice to either keep her job, or keep her health. That’s just a horrible choice for anybody to have to make.”
O’Connell was prepared to return to work as of Wednesday but expected to be fired after sharing her story with local news.
What do you think? Should a teacher’s homemade lunch get her fired? Sound off!
[Image via: Dragon Images / Shutterstock]