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AITA: Dumped Kid's Lunch in Bin

Would YOU throw a child's lunch in the bin? If no, your answer may change as you read on...

We've never, ever come across this sort of situation so we've no idea how we'd react but we're certainly interested in hearing your thoughts.

One angry mother has taken to the Reddit AITA (Am I The Asshole) board to ask if she's in the wrong for throwing away a child's lunch into the bin! Now, we know how bad that sounds, but trust us, context is crucial and you'll be shocked at the circumstances!

Find the full post below...

"So my (25F) sister bought my daughter (6F) a bento box that cost 50 dollars. Before anybody get on here and trying to shit on why a 6 year old needs a 50 dollar lunch box, it’s not your money so it doesn’t matter. Thursday after school my daughter came home and while unpacking her backpack like I usually do I I noticed that her bento box was not in there. When I asked her where it was she stated that a girl in her class named Audrey (fake name) had taken it and refused to give it back. I asked if she went to her teacher and she said yes but her teacher told her that it’s just a lunchbox and it shouldn’t matter.

Now Audreys name isn’t new to my household, she and other girls always picked on my daughter and no matter how many times I went to the school about it nothing was done. To say I was pissed was the least, the next day I went to the school 30 minutes before lunch time and requested a meeting with the teacher and the principle. They brought my daughter down and I explained the situation and they had someone get Audrey. Audrey brought the lunchbox to “prove” that it was hers but I asked them to open the lunch box because my daughters name was inside and long behold when she opened it there was my daughters name as clear as day.

When I requested she give it back to my daughter she begin crying. The teacher asked if it would be okay if Audrey kept it for the day since her food was already in there and I said hell no and they had 5 minutes to find something else to put her food in or I would be dumping it out. Instead of finding her a closed container they begin arguing with me so I stood up and grabbed the bento box and in front of all them I threw the food out into the trash can. Grabbing my daughter’s hand I walked out the office with the bento box leaving them to comfort the crying girl. Hours later I told my sister what happened and she said that even though I had the right to be mad I could’ve just let her have it and she would’ve bought my daughter another bento box. I feel like it’s the principle though, why should we have to buy something again for my daughter that she already had because some entitled kid wanted what’s hers ? Am I wrong ?

EDIT: I’m seeing I should’ve just taken the food out the box and I’m realizing that none of y’all know what a bento box is and I’m unsure on how to add a picture of it so please just go google it. You put actual food in there, not packaged that’s the best way I can explain it. For example if my daughter wanted soup I would put soup in there and it would stay warm all day.

EDIT2: this is more of an explanation because I can’t answer all of you guys

  1. Audrey did NOT starve, I did not leave her without a lunch. The school offers free lunches.
  2. She can afford her own damn bento box. We live in dfw in a fairly high class neighborhood. She took my daughter bento because she’s a bully
  3. I’ve went so the school board and principle plenty of times where they would say it was being handled when in fact nothing was being handled.
  4. I don’t care if I have to act childish. For my kid I would do anything, a lot of y’all are not parents and it shows.
  5. My daughter will be switching schools at the end of the semester"

Find the main thread here on Reddit.


What was the general consensus?

The mass majority of Reddit readers voted NTA - Not The Asshole - admitting that usually, they'd find it strange to make such a vote when an adult is throwing away a kids lunch! However, the actual detail within the story of what happened; the bullying, the theft of the bento box, and the fact that the school offers free lunches anyway, actually helped to reinforce the overall opinion that the poster isn't the asshole - the teachers were, primarily, for not reprimanding the bully or bringing a container to put the food in. The top comment was;


No one seems to be holding Audrey accountable for her actions. You showed her that there could be consequences for bullying and stealing from your child. In that sense, you protected your daughter and provided Audrey with some needed discipline.

It does seem bizarre to give an NTA judgement to an adult who threw away a child’s lunch. However, you’ve done every right thing you could trying to give your child a safe environment. Doing something wrong might have been the only way to improve the overall situation.."

Our verdict...

Usually we'd be outraged and feel that the adult in this situation didn't show the maturity and level-headedness that they should have, but in this situation, she wasn't supported by the teachers who really should have backed her up. All they needed to do was bring something to place the bully's lunch within safely, so that the poster could take the stolen bento box back. Instead, they argued with the parent, in front of the children, which we'd argue was unprofessional, and set a poor example. We're glad that the poster will be changing schools because, in all honesty, we'd not be pleased either; about the bullying, theft and inaction by the staff.

The question is, if the school didn't give free lunches in addition to pupils having a packed lunch option, would the poster have taken the same course of action? From reading her post, she seems to acknowledge the issue of a child going hungry so in all honesty, we'd like to think that no, she'd have waited until after lunch and maybe returned just before the school day ended to ensure the bento box was returned. In hindsight, that may have been the least aggressive course of action but let's be fair, the poster was in a situation that seems utterly infuriating and ridicuous to us - we'd probably have been upset and flustered too.

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