Parents Slammed For Hogging Children's Seats In Canteen During School Recess

These parents have been reminded to be more considerate of other students.

Cover image via Mohd Fadli Salleh/Facebook

This new year, tens of thousands of young children started school for the first time

It will be a new experience for many of these students, so naturally there was a sense of excitement and nervousness among the students and parents alike. 

It's not unusual to see parents coming to school to accompany their children as they spend the first week getting to know new friends and settling into the school system.

However, some kids may have gotten an unexpected start to their new chapter in school as they found themselves without a seat during recess as adults occupied them

While many students get their first taste of recess time with their peers, it appears that in some schools, many adults, presumably parents, had taken up most of the seats in the school canteen. Other students had to eat standing or worst, they ended up not eating at all during recess.

Facebook user Mohd Fadli Salleh took to social media to post a photo shared by a friend of parents hogging seats in a canteen during recess.

Mohd Fadli, who is a teacher, reprimanded parents for being uncaring towards other students who are less fortunate, especially those who do not have their families with them on the first day of school.

"Don't take away students' rights. The chair in the canteen is their right. A place for students to sit and eat and not for parents to serve their own children, leaving other students without a place to go."

He recounted an incident that happened seven years ago when he was working as a Standard 1 school teacher where a young boy did not get to eat during recess

The young boy was placed under the care of his aunt because his father passed away while his mother was hospitalised. According to Mohd Fadli, the boy was alone on the first day of school and he was standing silently beside a pillar as he watched the adults who sat in his place feeding their children.

"Recess time was up. The student appeared to be hungry, but he did not get to eat. It was only when he put down his plate that was still full of food that I realise what was going on."

Mohd Fadli said he accompanied the student to eat while the boy hurriedly finish up his food, afraid that he would get scolded by his teacher as his peers have all returned to the classroom.

"You display a wonderful picture of feeding your beloved child in the canteen when in fact your happiness robbed other children of their rights," he wrote in his Facebook post, which has received more than 13,000 shares at the time of writing.

Since that incident, Mohd Fadli said he has made it a point to ensure that all students in school have a place to sit and eat during recess

He was happy that parents in his school cooperated by standing around nearby to watch over their children, after he emphasised that adults should not occupy any seats at the canteen unless there are extra empty seats.

Mohd Fadli told mStar Online that he understood that some parents may want to spend recess time with their children at the canteen as their children are still new to the school system. However, he stressed that priority must be given to students to have a seat so that they have a chance to eat comfortably during recess, urging parents to be more sensitive and considerate.

He also pointed out that the general rule at schools is that parents are not allowed to sit on the chairs in the canteen during recess unless there is a surplus of seats, adding that this rule is usually communicated to parents during orientation day.

"To parents, imagine if your own child did not get to eat. Your child comes back from school and complained of hunger because the seats in the canteen were full because other parents were sitting together with their children.

"Surely you will be angry and sad? If that is what you feel, what about other students who had to stay hungry? So, when it's crowded, do not sit down, but just accompany your child from the side of the table," he was quoted as saying.

Do you think parents and visitors should be prohibited from the canteen area during recess? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Speaking of seat-hogging, there was a huge discussion on social media on whether students who occupy seats to study at eateries should be asked to leave the premises:

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