Mini Cheddars ban: Suspended six-year-old boy now expelled from school for having cheesy snack in lunchbox
Published 06/02/2014 | 00:00
A six-year-old boy suspended for having a packet of Mini Cheddars in his lunchbox has now been expelled from school.
Riley Pearson was suspended for four days last Wednesday from Colnbrook CofE Primary School in Berkshire, after teachers found the packet of snacks in his lunchbox.
He had been due to return to school on Tuesday, but his parents say that both Riley and his four-year-old brother have now been permanently excluded because of the row over what he eats for lunch.
Tom Pearson, Riley's father, said: "We should have had a meeting to get Riley back into school at 9am [on Tuesday], myself and my father arrived on time and we were told that the meeting cannot take place," according to the Slough and South Bucks Observer.
"At lunchtime on the same day I had a call from the school saying that we [the school] have given Riley permanent exclusion and his four-year-old brother's place in nursery has been withdrawn."
The school, near Slough, had recently sent a letter to parents saying that from January 14 packed lunches should be "healthy and balanced".
Parents were told: "Chocolate, sweets, crisps and fizzy drinks are not allowed. If your child's lunchbox is unhealthy and unbalanced they will be provided with a school lunch for which you will be charged."
Riley's parents met the head teacher Jeremy Meek last week, who told them that they had been “continuously breaking school rules” .
Mr Meek denied that the boys had been expelled only because of the contents of Riley's lunchbox.
In a statement the school said a pupil had been permanently excluded because "during the course of a recent four day exclusion, the pupil’s parents made it publicly clear that their child would not be following the school's policy on healthy eating upon their return".
It also said the decision was taken because of "the parent school relationship suffering an irretrievable breakdown that would have put [the] two pupils in an unacceptable position".
The school said: "This breakdown was due to misrepresentations in the local and national media that were both wholly inaccurate and grossly misleading, abusive language being used towards staff, and other inappropriate actions being taken that were designed to damage the school’s reputation."
Mr Pearson, who lives Colnbrook, said: "He is just six-years-old, all he does is take his lunchbox to school, it's us who puts the food into his lunchbox.
"We as a family believe that Riley is taking a well balanced lunch to school and that no rules have been broken. "
Riley's mother, Natalie Mardle, said his lunch usually consists of a sandwich, yoghurt tube, Dairylea Dunkers cheese spread snack, a packet of Mini Cheddars, and water.
She said Rily eats healthy, well-balanced meals at home, according to the Daily Mail.
According to government guidelines, school meals must be balanced and have fruit, vegetables, bread, cereal and meat, poultry or oily fish. Fizzy drinks, crisps, chocolate or sweets in school meals are ruled out.