Parents have reportedly reacted angrily to a decision by Italy’s top court which states that the right to eat packed lunches in schools is not “unconditional.”
Italy’s Supreme Court said schools should have the autonomy to decide if children are allowed to eat packed lunches on school grounds.
The judges said schools were places where individual differences should be taken into account “alongside the interests of the school community”.
A lower court previously ruled in favour of a group of Turin parents who wanted to opt out of school meals.
According to the BBC, parents say school meals are costly and they also argue that food provided by schools can be unhealthy.
The Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday, August 1 that bringing a packed lunch was “a possible violation of the principles of equality and non-discrimination based on economic circumstances”.
The ruling has sparked outrage amongst parents, as some describe it as “an act of violence“, while others say they could not be sure canteens would cater to specific dietary requirements of some pupils.
Meanwhile, other European countries, such as Finland, provide free school lunches to all pupils. In France, school lunches are not free, but are heavily subsidized.
All infant pupils in England’s schools are however entitled to a free hot meal at lunchtime, but take-up is not compulsory.