We all know that someone who takes things a bit too seriously and often goes way overboard concerning germs. You know, the girl in school who carried baby wipes everywhere she went to continually keep her hands clean…
For England, that germ freak is the Edgar Stammers Primary Academy in Walsall, a suburb of Birmingham.
Like most other places in the world, sanitation and cleaning routines have had to change in recent months due to COVID. And of course, that applies to how, when, and where food is served within the school.
But I dare say, someone is taking things a bit too far.
As well as being forced to wear masks and sit apart from their friends, children are now no longer allowed to use silverware, plasticware, or any other type of usual eating utensil.
That’s right. Forks, spoons, knives, and even the unusual spork are forbidden in the school. Hell, even plates have been outlawed.
As Metro, a US-based news outlet, reported on Tuesday, “The school has also stopped issuing pupils with knives, forks, and even plates over fears of spreading the virus.”
So how do the children eat? Well, with their fingers, of course, because that’s sanitary. And before you assume that means the students are served only cold foods and ones similar to sandwiches, let me assure you that you are entirely wrong.
Per Metro, “Hot and cold lunches are dropped off to each class in ‘grab bags’ and children are told to wash their hands before and after eating. However, parents were unhappy to discover youngsters were expected to eat ‘a small amount of mash served in a Yorkshire pudding’ without cutlery.”
Now, in case you are unfamiliar with the British term ‘mash,’ this means mashed potatoes. Yorkshire pudding is a type of pastry made out of popover batter. It’s is usually formed in the shape of a bowl and filled with various other dishes – in this case, mashed potatoes.
Mash is not always served in a Yorkshire pudding in England, although it’s not uncommon. However, the school thought, since they weren’t allowing the children to use utensils of any kind, a Yorkshire pudding would be easier for the children to pick up and eat.
However, as headteacher Darren Mann admitted, the idea didn’t work so well. The school received quite a bit of “not positive” feedback from both parents and students.
Metro reported, “Mum-of-two Mariah Drage, 30, who has a son in Year 2 and another in Year 6, said, ‘It’s a bit mad considering they can use knives and forks in old people’s homes. Kids touch everything. My kids did have school dinners but my oldest refuses now so he has packed lunches now.”
Another father said, “We’ve been telling our son to keep his hands away from his mouth because of coronavirus and now the school tells him to eat with his fingers. It’s utterly ridiculous. Have the schools not heard of dishwashers?”
Seems like a viable question.
But apparently, having the dishes washed is not the concern.
According to CEO of the Academy Trust, Michelle Shaw, hot food and utensils can’t “be transported around the schools safely.” Therefore, “hard utensils which may spread the virus” have been eliminated.
Headteacher Mann tried to diffuse the situation, admitting the school’s failings thus far and informing parents that cutlery has been asked for.
He said, “As parents know, we have been trying to increase the amount of hot food in the menu, but with the restriction of it being classed as finger food. Today, as part of the lunch, we had a small amount of mash that was served in a Yorkshire pudding to enable the children to pick it up and eat together. Unfortunately, the feedback from this from some parents and children has not been positive.”
Gee, I wonder why.
He continued, “We’d like to thank these parents and children for their feedback and we realize that it hasn’t worked today. We will look to adapt the menu again to try and make it better and easier for the children. I have also informed our academy trust of our desire to start using cutlery as soon as possible. As soon as it is deemed safe under their COVID restrictions, we will let all parents and children know.”
Schools aren’t even deemed one of the major spreading locations, especially not for children, yet you have them eating with their fingers?
We can only hope sanity returns the Academy Trust members sooner rather than later.