- A school has apologised after pictures of its "grim" Christmas lunch went viral.
- Parents on Twitter and a local Facebook group described the bleak meal as "disgusting."
- After initially defending the choices, the school apologized and offered refunds.
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Parents said they were left "upset" and "disgusted" by a Christmas meal served at Steyning Grammar School and Sixth Form College in West Sussex, United Kingdom on Tuesday. In a local Facebook group, parents described the meal — which consisted of a bread roll, slice of turkey, pig in a blanket, mince pie, and a ball of stuffing — as "disgusting" and looking like something "left over" from an "anatomy class." Many parents in the Facebook group said they had complained that the school's Christmas dinner was "unacceptable" in letters sent to the head master.
Ciaran Walsh, who appeared to be a parent of children who attend the school, shared a photo of the meal on Twitter.
After the response on the Facebook group, and Walsh's tweet gaining 613 retweets and 1,409 likes, the school backtracked and apologized.
In a screenshot of a purported email shared on the Facebook group, an associate head teacher told parents that the meal was "not of the standard we would want or expect," and blamed "unforeseen supply chain issues" and Covid-related "staff shortages."
"I would like to unreservedly apologise for this situation," she wrote.
A school spokesperson reportedly told The Guardian they had "now investigated this isolated matter fully and have apologised to all students and parents affected, together with providing a full refund."
On the Facebook group, parents had also called the lunch "diabolical" and the school should have been "ashamed" at serving it.
"Disgraceful," one parent wrote. "£3.50 for a roll, one bit of turkey, small bit of sausage and a bit of stuffing! And there was nothing else available for those who didn't chose Xmas lunch. Diabolical."
Another said the food looked like "Lichen on dry bread," while one parent noted, "They didn't even push the boat out and put butter on the bap."
One parent said people can expect better food on airplanes and that people "get fed better in prison," they said.
After his virality, Walsh posted a follow-up tweet, saying the school was "decent" and his kids are happy there.
"This lunch was obviously not their finest hour but we all get things wrong sometimes," he said. "please don't be too harsh!"
Insider has reached out to Steyning Grammar School and Sixth Form College for comment.