French judge calls for no-pork lunch options for Jewish, Muslim students

The judge cited international human rights norms in his decision to reinstate halal and kosher-friendly options.

Students eating school lunches. (photo credit: REUTERS)
Students eating school lunches.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A French court ruled that schools should provide an alternative to lunches containing pork for Muslim and Jewish students.
The decision on Monday came after a Muslim organization sued the local authority at Chalon-sur-Saône in Burgundy, about 180 miles from Paris in east-central France, challenging its decision in 2015 to stop providing a no-pork alternative in its school cafeterias.
The Muslim Legal Defense League had called the decision to stop providing a pork alternative “illegal, discriminatory and a violation of the freedom of conscience and religion.”
The judge said he made the ruling because, due to the lack of an alternative, many local Muslim children went without lunch, which is “not in keeping with the spirit of the international convention on the rights of children” and not “in the interests of the children,” The Guardian reported. He said religion was not a consideration.
French National Front party leader Marine Le Pen said in a 2014 interview that no-pork options for Jewish and Muslim students will no longer be offered in school menus in the 11 towns where France’s far-right National Front party won local elections.