The girl, Ke'Nya Harris, 5, said she didn't like the bagel and threw it in a trash can. Her teacher, who was not identified, took the bagel out of the trash and then forced young Ke'Nya to eat it in front of her classmates.
Candice Harris, Ke'Nya's mother, told the South Jersey Times she was livid at her daughter's treatment.
"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."
School officials said the garbage can Ke'Nya used to throw away the bagel had only been filled with paper and it was not unsanitary.
Police said the matter did not constitute a crime and referred Harris to the school board to lodge her complaint, the newspaper reported.