A group of outraged parents have contacted Southend News Network to complain after Oaktree Field Primary School in Chalkwell announced that their traditional Easter Egg Hunt has been cancelled. Next Monday’s popular event has been replaced with a ‘Carrot Chase,’ and controversial headteacher Marilyn Nani insists that the change promotes healthier eating habits and the benefits of a multi-faith and multi-cultural society.
Michelle Grandoeuf has two children at Oaktree Field, and she said: ‘I couldn’t believe what I was seeing when the text message arrived on Friday – both of my daughters loved the egg hunt and I couldn’t calm them down when I told them. Lots of other parents have told me that their kids are in tears, and all that the headteacher keeps saying is that she is concerned about childhood obesity and not offending anyone. If I want my kids to eat plenty of chocolate to celebrate Easter, it’s my choice and nobody else’s!’
We asked headteacher Marilyn Nani for more details about the Carrot Chase. She said: ‘We need children to realise that eating too much chocolate can be very harmful to their health, and nothing says ‘Easter’ more than a nice nutritious carrot. Easter has bunnies, and bunnies like carrots! Also, we have to be mindful that a lot of our children and parents don’t celebrate Easter, and so by bringing everyone together in a healthy-eating extravaganza we are reaching out to the community as a whole.’
Mrs Nani added: ‘To make sure that we get the message across, I would like to remind all parents that while the children are free to exchange Easter Eggs outside of the school gates, we cannot allow any seasonal chocolate on the premises – especially if they have nuts in, or have been produced in an area that contains traces or shadows of nuts.’