Coming Home Hungry
It was a seemingly normal day for Leeza Pearson, until her daughter came home from preschool famished. Leeza, of course, couldn’t understand how this happened, especially since she packed her daughters a perfectly good lunch. Then she discovered a note in the empty box.
Shocking Behavior In Colorado
People generally treat each other well in Aurora, Colorado, the city that Leeza and her daughter Natalee call home. It is a place of smiles and few judgments. That’s why Leeza was shocked by the way she and her daughter were treated by the folks at Aurora’s Children’s Academy. They stepped out of line and pulled a stunt no parent would ever want to experience.
Natalee’s Early Start Gone Bad
When it comes to her daughter Natalee, Leeza wants the best for her. That’s why she sent her to the Children’s Academy. it was just the kind of school she needed to prepare her for a very competitive society. Sadly, this dream school would end up being a nightmare. One morning saw Leeza packing her daughter’s lunch in a frenzy. Her careless packing would result in the Children’s Academy doing the unthinkable.
A Popular Preschool
Amongst all the preschools in Aurora, the Children’s Academy & Childcare Center is one of the most popular. It reserves its teachings for only a select number of children. The school is one of the most sought-after places in the community. It is the ideal place to send a young child. Leeza felt honored to have Natalee educated in such a building.
Life Was Good
Life seemed to be in perfect order for the first time in awhile. Leeza’s grasp on her long-awaited degree was coming closer and closer and her daughter was getting a great education. Leezal literally couldn’t find a reason to complain in her life. That said, things were about to take a very odd and shameful turn for young Natalee and Leeza.
The Day That Changed Everything
For most of the school year, Leeza was more than happy with the service that was being provided by the school. If anyone asked for a recommendation, she’d give it. She also would have been speaking too soon. There were absolutely no complaints from her, her husband or Natalee. That was going to change on one fateful Friday.
The Life Of A Busy Mother
Motherhood is no cakewalk. It can be quite stressful and sometimes you feel like there isn’t enough time in a single day. Leeza was rushing through a typical morning that fell right after a hectic night. Leeza realized while rushing Natalee’s packed lunch that she had ran out of any fruits or vegetables. She thought nothing of it as she packed the lunch anyway and sent Natalee on her way. This would ultimately lead to a huge public drama.
Sweets In Natalee’s Lunch
Leeza threw together a lunch that consisted of a string cheese, a ham and cheese sandwich and a bag of oreos. As fingers were being pointed in her direction, she claims that she usually throws in a fruit or veggie, but that day was particularly hectic and that she didn’t have any options on that day.
How Bad Are Oreos?
Many questioned if the school truly had the right to be concerned by this lunch graced with oreos and zero veggies or fruits. Oreos aren’t exactly healthy, in fact, they are actually one of the unhealthiest cookies that you can buy at the market. If one constantly indulges in this little treat, they can find themselves brushing up with a case of diabetes or heart disease. These cookies definitely shouldn’t be eaten by a girl Natalee’s age.
Natalee’s Complaints Of Hunger
It was a seemingly normal Friday for Leeza when her daughter came home complaining that she was hungry. It was strange considering she had packed a lunch for her daughter. Leezza looked into her daughter lunch pail and found in there a note along with the sinister oreos that had gone untouched. The note sparked a deep anger within.
The Offensive Letter
Leeza wasn’t going to be quiet about the note she received. She decided it was something worth sharing with the community. The note read as is, “Dear Parents, it is very important that all students have a nutritious lunch. This is a public school setting, and all children are required to have a fruit, a vegetable, and a healthy snack from home, along with a milk. If they have potatoes, the child will also need bread to go along with it.”
Sharing The Note Online
Leeza was fuming over the school and the nerve they had to actually think that they could control what she fed her daughter. The note was going to go online for the whole world to read. “Lunchables, chips, fruit snacks and peanut butter are not considered to be a healthy snack.”
People didn’t hesitate to support Leeza when she posted the note on her Facebook and Twitter. She was happy to know that she had loads of support in her system. One of her friends even called the whole situation ridiculous. Leeza couldn’t be more pleased. She then went on to post, “I just got a bunch of outrage from friends I hadn’t heard from in years,”
The Era Of Obesity
No doubt from the school’s perspective they were doing what was right and saving little Natalee. People are quick to forget that the last twenty years has seen a huge spike in obesity, especially amongst children. Thirty years ago, a larger person would have stood out and today obesity is the norm. The staff at Children’s Academy did have perfectly fine intentions.
Emphasis On Healthy Foods
Today we’re well aware of the obesity and health problems amongst children in America. There was the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act that pressed this issues and began encouraging schools to supply kids with healthier lunches. Seeing Natalee pull a bag of oreos out of her lunch pail must have sparked widespread concern amongst the staff.
Educating The Masses On Health
Toddlers aim to higher their education at a place like Children’s Academy and it is a known fact that unhealthy snacks like oreos only hinder a child’s efficiency. That said, fruits and veggies will only heighten a kid’s learning ability. “Students who eat regular, healthy meals are less likely to be tired, are more attentive in class and retain more information,” said NYU Associate Professor of Economics and Education Policy Sean Patrick Corcoran.
What No Parent Wants To Hear
While the school had its point, no parent wants to be put on the spot and be made to feel that they are an unfit parent. The school basically went out of their way to call Leeza a bad mother. The contents in that letter definitely kept Leeza up at night questioning her parenthood.
Leeza Felt “Shamed”
Leeza would later appear on a new of news outlet and would state that she had no problem with the school’s take on trying to keep kids healthy, but that she was more offended by the way they “took it over the top.” She also stated that they made her feel “shamed” and that it was wrong for the school to dictate what he daaughter ate.
Overstepping Their Boundaries
Leeza was especially upset that they thought they could tell her daughter what she could or couldn’t eat. The school staff didn’t stay on their side of the court. “What the school thinks is healthy for her is not what I think is healthy for her,” she said. “She needs to eat what she’s going to eat. That’s between me and her and our doctor – not the school.”
Natalee Showed No Signs Of Obesity
The school would be all in favor if little Natalee was 100 pounds and waddling through the school grounds. The concern would be welcomed at that point, but that wasn’t the case. Natalee is obviously an active and healthy little girl. It was a fact that made the accusations all the more offensive and humiliating. We can definitely see how Leeza would feel attacked.
Defending Her Decision
It was her daughter’s already extremely good health and slim appearance that made the whole situation so much harder for Leeza to accept. She stated during an interview, “It’s not like I was offering cookies to the entire class, and it’s not like that was the only thing in her lunch.”
Were They Hypocrites?
What even added more fuel to Leeza’s fire is that she claims the school has offered her daughter sugary treats on more than one occasion. This totally makes their actions hypocritical. “They say I can’t decide what to feed her but then they sometimes feed her junk food,” Leeza said during an interview with ABC News.
Standing Up For Her Rights
Once there was a full battle between Leeza and the school, the angry mother stepped forward and defended her choice of putting oreo cookies in her daughter’s lunch. “We’re not the parents that send junk food every day,” she said later in an interview. “She has a full, healthy lunch. And this was Friday! Why not give her a special treat?”
School’s Bad Reputation
Leeza had a point. Schools have never had the reputations of giving out the best foods. Usually, kids would be served up mystery meat and other strange looking foods that looked factory produced. The meats would usually have a rubbery taste and everything else would have a strange texture. Candy is also very commonly handed out in class.
Against School Policy
Brenda Dean was the director at Children’s Academy at the time of this controversy and she spoke openly about the issue to the media. She said that she was looking into who put the note in the lunch pail as it is not part of school policy to leave passive aggressive letters. She agreed that a parent shouldn’t be shamed in such a manner.
Some have called this an overreaction. The school didn’t starve this girl. Despite people saying this, they did offer her an alternative lunch, she just didn’t want it. The plot thickens as we learn that this girl didn’t have her lunch ripped her grasp from her tiny hands and tossed in the trash. She was simply restricted from eating the sugary oreos.
The Plot Thickens
Patti Moon, the Chief Communications Officer at Auror Public Schools has stated that while the school did want to keep parents up to date on healthy choice, such action shouldn’t be forced as they were with Natalee. She further stated though that Natalee had been given the choice of another snack and did not have to return home on an empty stomach.
That means that little Natalee took a stubborn stance once her oeros were taken and refused to ear the meal that they provided her with. That said, amongst over a hundred kids, she chose to sit there and go hungry. She thought that going through the day with an empty stomach was better than giving them the satisfaction of eating the meal.
Where Do Schools Stand?
While the flames were being fueled for a while, like everything, they cooled between Leeza and her daughter’s school. Natalee outgrew the pre-school environment and started going to elementary. Life has moved on for everyone involved. We just hope that everyone learned something.
When all was said and done, the Children’s Academy took a second look at their stance and the moves they made and definitely won’t be sending any angry letters to parents concerning their lunch choices. Life is peaceful again for Natalee and Leeza. We think everyone learned about the roles they play due to this situation.