I must admit, I'm a little fond of pork products - there's nothing quite like a piece of pink protein-packed pork pie to put the pep in a pre-prandial snack. I therefore viewed with some disdain Haringey, Bradford and Luton schools, among others, who deny pork to any of their pupils. They "don't want the risk of staff or pupils coming into contact with it".
I see. Presumably the next step is to ban meat all together in order to avoid any risk that a vegetarian staff member or pupil may inadvertently be exposed?
There is a refreshing admonition from John Benjamin of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, to whom pork in schools is a non-issue:
"Children at mainstream school who are bothered would probably have packed lunches," he said to the Sunday Telegraph. "Children who are comfortable with using the same cutlery and crockery as everyone else would choose their dishes from the options available. It is live and let live - we are certainly not calling for this."He didn't actually say "what the hell is wrong with you people?" but I'd bet he was thinking it.
Various MPs are not amused at these bans, and rightly so. It's fairly clear that either these schools are either pandering to what they think Muslim pupils and staff would want, or school administrators are playing a "more Islamic than thou" game.
Personally, I'd say that you can have my pork chops, bacon and ribs when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers. One of the bright points of that article is that it reveals the existence of National Pig Association. Annual associate membership subscription is £20.42 a year and includes a copy of the industry’s leading pig magazine to your door every month (UK only). Readers, you know what to do.
[Tagged "censorship" because it's clearly censorship of food.]