The Melbourne Cup is the race that stops the nation with workplaces around the country pausing to watch the much-loved race.
But should schools join in by televising the horse race to students in the classroom before the home time bell?
Leanne Charlton, whose daughter attends St Joseph’s Primary in Port Macquarie, doesn’t think so.
After picking up her daughter from school in 2017, she said she was beyond angry when she found out the class had not only watched the race but also had participated in a sweep.
“Honestly I was furious. I couldn’t believe the school was letting students get indoctrinated into a world where gambling and the explicit drinking of alcohol was normal, let alone the animal cruelty aspect of the sport,” Leanne said.
“I had no idea the school was doing this and after I found out I went straight to the head of St Agnes’ Parish and put in a formal complaint.
“At the time the parish said my concern was legitimate and to leave it with them.
“Then this time around I was told the school had recognised my objection but was going ahead anyway.”
Leanne said she feels that people need to take a stand to show the next generation that gambling, drinking and animal cruelty is not normal.
“Australia has a massive gambling and drinking problem and by letting children grow up watching events like the Melbourne Cup it is showing them that it is normal,” she said.
“For the children, Melbourne Cup day is a great day. They get to stop class and watch the race and have some fun.
“Children these days are getting diagnosed with gambling addictions and we should all be worried about that.
“I think instead they should have a celebrate your pets day or an RSPCA day where animals can be celebrated in a way that is not associated with drinking and gambling.”
Leanne said she had tried to speak with the St Agnes Parish again this year and plans to take her concerns to the head of the Catholic Diocese of Lismore.
“I think this is a big issue and I will continue to talk about it until something happens.
“I was told I could take my daughter out of school for the day but as a working, single mum, that is just not an option.”
John McQueen, coordinating executive officer for parish education for St Agnes' Parish, said he welcomed parents to voice any concerns.
“St Agnes’ Parish schools always encourage parents to have their say on issues related to the school, particularly if it impacts on their child, which would include whether or not to view the Melbourne Cup.
“In this case, the principal has made a decision to broadcast the Melbourne Cup within the school.
“If any parent feels that this is not appropriate, they are encouraged to contact the school to arrange alternate activities for their child or children when the Cup is shown.”