By Lynn Griffith | September 21, 2015
In the United States, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reports that discrimination laws apply to employees’ dress and grooming. Some religions prohibit wearing certain garments and others require hair to be certain lengths. The law requires employers to make accommodations and be respectful of this, whether it is a newly adopted religious change, or one that has been a part of a person’s life for years. (1)
It is interesting that in U.S., we have laws to protect adults or adolescents in the work place; yet, the USDA program to accommodate children with special dietary needs program does not consider religious beliefs as a part of the program. In order to ask your school for accommodations, the program reports that you must supply a doctor’s note and focuses more on allergies. Many schools are kind enough to accommodate, if parents reach out to the school, and some schools already offer a diverse menu where children have plenty of choices. It appears that U.S. schools are not obligated to provide meal options that meet requirements of religious beliefs or even dietary beliefs outside of allergies or health concerns. (2)
In the U.S., we have laws that protect religious beliefs in regards to dress and grooming, yet our schools do not take religious dietary needs into account!
It appears that France will be taking this step! A lawmaker will introduce a draft bill asking that vegetarian meals be obligatory in all French schools. This law is designed as a way of bypassing the country’s rules on secularism, and accommodates for religious sensitivities. The online petition quickly gathered over 125,000 signatures!(3)
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