In the words of an esteemed talk show colleague, it’s sick out there and getting sicker.

A 5 year old comes home from school telling her mother that her kindergarten teacher made her eat a bagel she’d thrown in the trash.

Sound like something you’d hear out of Oliver Twist?

Ke’Nya Harris came home from Deerfield Township Elementary School and told her mother that her kindergarten teacher made her eat a bagel that Ke’Nya had tossed in a trash can.

Ke’Nya’s mother, Candice Harris, filed a report about the incident Wednesday with State Police.

“She’s very upset and humiliated,” Candice Harris said. “Ke’Nya said she didn’t like the bagel, so she threw it away. She said her teacher then took the bagel out of the trash and told her she had to eat it in front of all the kids.”

Candice Harris first went to the school’s superintendent to report the incident.

“The teacher admitted it to me right away in front of the superintendent,” Harris said. “The teacher told me that she wouldn’t have had a problem eating the bagel. She also refused to apologize. It wasn’t until I threatened to file a police report, hire an attorney and go to The News that the superintendent offered an apology. There was absolutely no sign of remorse from the teacher.”

According to Candice Harris, the teacher said there was only paper in the trash can. She feels this does not make the situation acceptable.

State police from Bridgeton barracks documented the matter and reviewed the report, determining it was a school administrative issue.

“We looked into it and determined that it is not a criminal matter,” said Lt. Gary Catts. “We recommended the matter be taken up with school administration.”

School Board President William Miller stated, “We obviously would not condone that sort of behavior. It is ridiculous to think that we would consider that OK for one of our students. However, with that being said, I cannot comment further until all the facts are substantiated.”

Harris has hired Bridgeton attorney John Morris to review the case.

She also contacted state Division of Child Protection and Permanency (formerly DYFS).

Spokeswoman Kristine Brown said she could not comment in detail about the situation.

Harris said she believes race may have been a factor in the incident.

“We’re a low-income black family. Most of the people who attend the school are white.”

Because of the family’s economic status, Ke’Nya’s lunch is subsidized and provided free by the school.

Trying to take as unbiased a look at this as possible, it’s never right to make a child eat something out of the trash, even if there’s only paper in said trash can.

Whether or not it’s a bias incident only clouds the issue.
That will all come out in the wash, which actually I don't buy at all.

The teacher, no matter what, is wrong for making the child eat a bagel out of the trash.

However, I want to put you in the position to discipline the teacher.

In the words of John Quinones, "what would YOU do?"