Leeza Pearson lives in Aurora, Colorado with her daughter Natalee and Natalee's father, Nathan Biersack. Today, Leeza is studying political science at the Metropolitan State University. Her daughter is seven-years-old. Three years ago, something happened with Natalee's school that today still upsets Leeza.
When Natalee was four-years-old, she attended the Children's Academy & Childcare Center. At any given time, there are about 150 students attending the school. Some students have been there for a while and are getting ready to start kindergarten. Other students who attend the school are new at being in a structured classroom. Natalee was one of those kids.
Natalee liked her school and Leeza never had a problem with the school. It wasn't until April 24, 2015, that Leeza had an issue. Leeza and Nathan never had a reason to publicly state a grievance with the school until this day. This issue was with the lunch that Leeza packed for her daughter and what the school did left her furious. When this 4-year-old came home hungry, her mom realized the teacher had messed with her lunch.
The day before the incident was a hectic one for Leeza and her family. Because she was so busy, she didn't have the time to go to the supermarket to pick up some fruits and vegetables for Natalee's lunch. When Leeza packed her daughter's lunch in the morning, she realized that she had to make do with what she had in her refrigerator and cupboards. She made her daughter a ham and cheese sandwich. She also packed a string cheese and a package of Oreo cookies for her snack. She didn't pack cookies in her daughter's lunch often; however, on this day, she didn't have a choice. She wanted to make sure that her daughter didn't come home hungry at the end of the day. Also, it was Friday so she figured for once her daughter could have a special treat.
When Natalee came home from school that day, she was very hungry. She told her mother that she couldn't wait to get home so that she could have something to eat. Natalee didn't understand why her daughter was so hungry, but when she opened Natalee's lunch box, she figured it out.
When Leeza opened up Natalee's lunch box, she found the unopened package of Oreos along with a note from Natalee's school. She asked her daughter why she didn't eat the cookies, and Natalee told her that her teacher wouldn't let her have the cookies. Leeza was angry. She became furious after she read the note from the school.
The note in Natalee's lunch box read, "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 milk. If they have potatoes, the child will also need bread to go along with it. Lunchables, chips, fruit snacks and peanut butter are not considered to be a healthy snack. This is a very important part of our program, and we need everyone's participation." Leeza was so angry about the note that she posted it online.
The responses that Leeza got to her post were very supportive. Most of the people who saw the post were just as outraged as Leeza. Most people believe that if a parent packs a lunch for their child, it is up to them to decide what they pack. Leeza says that it wasn't the snack policy that upset her the most; it was that the school was shaming her for packing what she was able to. She was also angry that her daughter's teacher wouldn't allow the little girl to eat what was in her lunch box. Leeza pointed out that her daughter was healthy and not overweight. She believes that what she feeds her daughter is between her, her daughter, and her doctor.
What made Leeza even angrier is that during the previous holiday, the teachers brought candy to school for the children. Leeza didn't understand why it was okay for the teachers to hand out sweets, but they could dictate what she sent to school in her daughter's lunch box.
Barbara Dean, the Children's Academy director stated that the note should have never been put in Natalee's lunch box because it was against school policy. She also said that she would look into the note. Patti Moon, the chief communications officer for the Aurora Public Schools, agreed with Dean. She claimed that Natalee was given a choice of a different snack; however, Natalee says that she wasn't. Fortunately, Natalee didn't seem to affect by the incident and had no worries about going back to school.