Outrageous Outrage! Dearborn Public Schools Offer Halal Meals in Cafeteria
That looks appetizing.
The last thing Dearborn Public Schools’ Food Service Director Jeff Murphy wants to see is students not eating, or tossing out food because they feel like they don’t have any lunch time options.
But that was exactly what was occurring 11 years ago, when the schools introduced a pilot program offering halal meats at a school building.
Today, the program has grown— with more more than half of Dearborn’s 32 schools offering halal options for Muslim students, with Haigh, Howard, Lindbergh and Dearborn High being added to that list this year.
But making provisions for menus is a complex matter—one that’s decided on several factors, including the population of the school and the needs of an ethnically diverse community.
‘I expect that the number of schools that will want halal options will grow,’ said Murphy, who began working for the district when the pilot program was introduced.
‘We’re a business, and we see the students and parents as our customers,’ he added. ‘This is about meeting their needs.’
Growing Halal Needs
Halal rules are an integral part of Islamic practice, and include not only how the animal is slaughtered and preparation of meat, but also stipulations about types of animals that may not be eaten and abstaining from alcohol.
In Dearborn and worldwide, many restaurants have begun offering halal meats to cater to a growing Muslim customer base. For example, Dearborn’s Fuego Grill is the area’s first halal Mexican restaurant; some McDonald’s and Ram’s Horn restaurants also offer halal.
In Dearborn Public Schools, some east end buildings have Arab-American student populations of 90 percent or more, according to district spokeman Dave Mustonen. Not all of those students are Muslim, but enough are to make offering halal options a necessity.
Without the halal options, Muslim students would either need to make sure they ate only non-meat cafeteria foods, or bring a lunch from home, entiely cutting them out of the school lunch system.
Pam Geller is gonna have a freaking heart attack!