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Korean mom has a perfect response to the teacher who called her son's lunches 'disgusting'

Good for her for standing up for her child's culture.

korean food, korean mom, korean child

A Korean mother and her son

A recently posted story on Reddit shows a mother confidently standing up for her family after being bullied by a teacher for her culture. Reddit user Flowergardens0 posted the story to the AITA forum, where people ask whether they are wrong in a specific situation.

Over 5,600 people commented on the story, and an overwhelming majority thought the mother was right. Here’s what went down:

“I (34F) have a (5M) son who attends preschool. A few hours after I picked him up from school today, I got a phone call from his teacher,” Flowergardens0 wrote. “She made absolutely no effort to sound kind when she, in an extremely rude and annoyed tone, told me to stop packing my son such ‘disgusting and inappropriate’ lunches."



"I felt absolutely appalled when she said this, as me and the teacher have, up until now, always maintained a very friendly relationship. She added that the lunches I’m packing my son are ‘very distracting for the other students and have an unpleasant odor.’ I told her that I understand her concerns, as the lunches I pack are definitely not the healthiest, but the lunches are according to my son’s preferences.”


The mother added that she usually sends her son to school with small celery sticks, blue cheese and goat cheese, kimchi, spam and spicy Sriracha-flavored Doritos.

“I ended the call by saying that I very much appreciated her worries, but that at the end of the day, I am not going to drastically change my son’s lunches all of a sudden, and that it’s not my fault if other students are ‘distracted’ by his meal,” the mother continued. “It is very important to me what my son enjoys, and I want him to like my lunches.”

The teacher replied with an email saying the mom's response was "unacceptable" and that his lunches were “just too inappropriate to be sent to school any longer.”

“I haven’t responded yet and don’t want to. I want to maintain a healthy relationship with my son’s teachers. I am confused as to what to do,” the mom ended her story.

It’s clear that the teacher is way out of line in this situation because the child is eating food that is entirely normal in Korean culture. It may have a strong odor to those who aren’t used to it, but that’s just an opportunity for the teacher to explain to the children how people from different parts of the world eat different types of food. It’s not that hard.

The only reason the teacher should have any choice over what the child eats is if it is egregiously unhealthy and may cause them harm.

The most popular commenter on the forum suggested that the mother bring the issue to the principal’s attention.

"Report her to the principal," Thatshygal717 wrote. "Her comments regarding your son’s food are 'disgusting' and 'have an unpleasant tone' aka cough cough racist tone. She’s too inappropriate to be teaching at the school any longer."

Another commenter, muffiewriters, assured the mother that she was doing nothing wrong. "Your son's food is perfectly normal," they wrote. "For a 5-year-old. Your family's food is normal. The teacher is TA for not recognizing that.”

The mother hasn’t shared what she did next, but she’s handled the situation perfectly so far. She told the teacher that it’s not her fault if other kids are distracted by her food and that she will not change her son’s diet to please other people.

The beauty of America is that we are a country of many different cultures mixed like a beautiful bowl of salad. It’s great that so many people supported the mother and reminded her that her family has every right in the world to eat the food they love, and if it bothers anyone, they can keep it to themselves.

P.S. That teacher has no idea what she’s talking about. Korean food is delicious.


This article was originally published on 3.20.23.

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Krystal Brady/PMI

Krystal Brady utilizes her project management skills to help advance cancer research and advocacy.

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