A 5-year-old girl from Cumberland County was allegedly forced to eat a bagel from a trash can at Deerfield Township Elementary School in front of all of her classmates.
Mother Kandice Taylor says her daughter is having nightmares over the incident, and is so distraught that she will be going to a psychologist.
Taylor said her daughter didn’t like the taste of the bagel, so she threw it in the trash can. “Then her teacher saw the bagel, picked it out, and said, ‘Ke’Nya, you have to eat this and now you’re going to eat this at your desk,’” said Taylor, according to CBS Philly.
Ke'Nya’s mother alleges that the incident happened in front of her entire class. “When you went in the trash can, you went just as low as a dog. Like, who eats out of a trash can?” Taylor added.
She said the teacher refused to apologize, the South Jersey Times reported. Taylor said, “The teacher told me that she wouldn’t have had a problem eating the bagel. It wasn’t until I threatened to file a police report, and hire an attorney that the superintendent offered an apology.”
Taylor says that race may have played a part in the incident. She said, according to The Stir,"We’re a low-income black family. Most of the people who attend the school are white." Ke'Nya is part of a free breakfast and lunch program.
According to Gothamist, Taylor is keeping Ke'Nya out of school until the matter is settled. School board president William Miller said the school's attorney is looking into the proper procedures for the school to follow. “The school is understandably trying to be cautious in the case,” Miller said. "We are absolutely concerned that Ke’Nya is not attending school."